Tackling the Team
You've formed a team to accomplish a particular mission. It has bright and dedicated people and yet there is one important question:
Can this team accomplish the mission?
Now before you say, "Sure, that's why we all got together," take a few minutes and jot down why the team might not be able to succeed. Odds are, there are some reservations floating about in the back of your mind, such as:
- Everyone wants to run the show. It's going to be government by committee and decisions will either be of lowest common denominator quality or they'll take too long.
- No one wants to run the show. Most of the work is going to drift to one or two people.
- There is no real agreement on the mission. Disagreement was fudged in order to form the team.
- People aren't willing to speak up. There is so much emphasis on maintaining the great relationships, no one is going to shout, "You all are crazy" when it is most needed.
- Key experience is needed. The team members are heavily experienced in one or two areas but are missing key components.
- A charismatic leader is present. Everyone else is turning off their brains.
- They are in love with the project. As a result, they are eager to overlook important barriers.
- Some members are perpetual devil's advocates. They continue to criticize even after all concerns have been resolved.
It may be that these problems won't surface until the team has had several meetings. That's why it can be helpful to have periodic self-evaluations so the team can determine whether it can achieve the mission. A team that has lost or is missing effectiveness has to be disbanded or reformed.