Harness the Power of Your Team’s Potential
An upshot of the Covid pandemic working from home or elsewhere has created for many a sense of isolation and feeling fragmented as a team. A team is more than just a loose collection of related parts. Working in the “team-as-a-whole” is what makes a team powerful. You do not bring people together to accomplish less. The whole of a team is bigger than the sum of its parts, a popular expression often used. Team potential exists as a consequence of the human potential brought together in a team. As a result, the possibility of a vast reservoir of latent knowledge, intelligence, skills, talent and capabilities exist within a team. The more these latent resources can be activated and mobilised, the better a team will perform, whether it’s improving sales, service, revenue or profits.
Make the Whole Visible to Everyone
Leading a virtual team requires more than working on the team’s project agenda via email. Teams which are unable to meet in person frequently because members are distributed geographically need additional help to support their team processes so that they can act and feel like a team. Get the whole team involved in the process of discussion and decision-making. Zoom meetings are very useful. Intégro’s Teaming Excellence software provides an additional “Line of Sight” for everyone to see what is working well and what is not working well in the context if the team’s vision and purpose and who is involved with what. The goal is to have a mind-set of the whole team present in all the individual members of the team.
Catalyse Rich Conversations
Collaboration can be thought of as a network of different conversations. A common problem for distributed teams is that their conversations often deteriorate to being about logistical details, routine reports, and administrative matters except during infrequent face-to-face meetings. This just doesn’t provide the “juice” you need to support the essential creative energy of teamwork because in many cases these conversations are the only shared experience the team has for long periods of time. It is critical to consciously create time and space for the team to have multiple, rich conversations between meetings. “After dinner” conversations on non-routine topics like what really motivates you, the current organisation culture etc. could be appropriate conduits. Rotate responsibility among the team to facilitate discussion on non-routine topics in an online communication platform. Invite “experts” from other parts of the organisation to engage with the team online. Again the Intégro software platform is ideal for such conversations.
When a team meets in physical space, the room itself serves as a “container” which amplifies the energy of the team. Distributed teams experience a kind of entropy effect where energy dissipates and drains out of the system because there is no container for it. The Intégro Teaming Excellence software serves as the virtual container because it enables dynamic brainstorming and sharing of ideas. In addition it makes possible to “spotlight” and celebrate individual and team accomplishments or where something interesting is happening. It also facilitates “team-to-team” networking and disseminates “hot” news for everyone to know. It’s a way to energise everyone and channel the energy in the right direction.
Create Tracks & Footprints in Physical Space
In a co-located team, the physical space and artifacts in it serve as reminders that the team exists is real and important. Without these, a distributed team can disappear off the radar screens of others in the organisation and team members can lose a sense of themselves as part of the team. Lacking reminders, virtual team members can forget to tune into various team communication channels unless there is something pressing.
Artifacts give a virtual team visibility in team members’ individual physical space. They serve as an anchor to keep the team focussed on why the team exists and what it is accountable for. The software becomes the “container” channel and virtual corridor where team members “meet”, and touch base with each other.
Build & Maintain Conducive Conditions
Conducive conditions for building and maintaining self-esteem is essential. The way I feel about myself and others in the team will either facilitate the process to activate potential or not. An attitude of I’m OK, You’re OK is the attitude and gateway to access potential. A healthy self-esteem indicates a high level of self-acceptance brought about by a high level of self-worth and self-respect. It is the way a truly autonomous person feels and as a result will activate his/her potential. Conditions in a team can either be the catalyst for building or the destroying self-esteem. Giving recognition for any contribution, no matter how small, stimulates self-worth and enabling people to act out their commitments to self and the team that builds self-respect. Self-esteem is the source of confidence, reinforces ownership of actions, stimulates critical and creative thinking, and enables us to activate our individual potential.