Your client has a new business strategy—and potentially a new organizational structure or leadership team to match. But none of that will matter without the right teams to drive business results.
When it comes to advising your client on how to design the high-performing teams that will help them meet their business goals, there are three key actionable components to emphasize.
Approach designing a team the way you would an organization.
Business leaders are sometimes quick to forget that a team is a microcosm of the organization of which it’s a part. But remembering and appreciating that teams are essentially their own mini organizations is critical to building rockstar teams.
You may want to ask your client:
- How does this team’s goal fit in with the overall business strategy?
- What behavioral attributes are required to drive success? (E.g., should the team be risk-averse? Enterprising?)
- Do existing job descriptions accurately reflect the requirements of the team?
- Do new jobs need to be created and, if so, how will those relate to existing jobs and each other?
Just as the business has its own goals and measurements of success, so do teams. Your client should be sure to examine each department and team goal, making sure to align each to the overall business strategy—as well as think critically about the behavioral demands of the team as a whole. When there’s alignment, the risk of wasted effort is minimized.
Leverage behavioral data to promote awareness of self and others.
Once your client has a clear picture of the performance demands for their teams, it’s essential they understand the behavioral needs and drives of their employees to optimize their performance. While a team may need to be naturally risk-averse (like for legal or finance teams), the nuanced individual behavioral attributes of team members will differ.
When employees understand themselves, their strengths, and where they can use support, becoming active and engaged team members happens almost organically. In advising your clients, be sure to ask them to consider how the team:
- Communicates (one-on-one and as a group)
- Makes decisions
- Handles conflict
- Celebrates wins
When team members and leaders have the behavioral data they need to understand themselves and each other, the answers to the above questions come much more easily. Leveraging that data to identify strengths and areas for improvement within the team dynamic will create an environment where employees can show up and be their best selves, focusing on the tasks at hand instead of the stress of dysfunction and poor fit.
While your client’s teams will likely each have their own overall behavioral identity, it’s critical you advise them to prioritize diversity. Multi-faceted teams are high performing, and teams that are diverse in experience, skills, perspectives, and behavioral drives will do best for your client.
Not only will your client’s diverse teams be more creative and make better decisions, they’ll also be better equipped to handle the inevitable changes the business will face and adapt accordingly. Creating balance on individual teams leads to greater harmony for the organization as a whole.
Designing rockstar teams is an ongoing process. As businesses evolve and change, so do teams. By advising your clients to treat their teams as their own mini-organizations, promote self- and team awareness, and prioritize diversity in behavioral attributes, skills, and perspectives, you’ll empower them to be successful.