Monday, 23 November 2009

What did you miss?

I got a call from a friend 15 minutes before I had to decide on writing this post... The conversation very short and simple, effect very long and lasting... To give a bit of a background my friend is leading a team of 50 Engineers, analysts, QA and Business Managers, A year ago while we were busy building our Team, he too had started to set a direction to his...

We had almost 8-9 chats on cultures and spirits and the values, bonding and emotions they generate...my friend today reckoned a statement we discussed...

"Build Teams, Don't form them"

He said he thinks using experts he just organized them and formed them to a working model... now that its a running vehicle, the moment one part mis works the vehicle stops.....So forming and Building what to choose? You may ask what difference it makes... I would say a huge..... in one of my previous posts last year.. Team Building , What does leadership need? I wrote a few points that were essential... today I speak about the steps that you may miss in Building Teams and some way chose to form them with issues that can kill in long run...

1. Culture
Usually building the teams we forget this point... Culture... We bring the best minds, attitudes , people ... do we bring a unique culture? well the answer is no... Leaders have to decide on what culture they want to have.... Do you want to be challenged? Do you want to have a flat scheme where people can ask each other questions that can lead to improvement of processes and profits? We usually assume that Best people can build Best cultures.. I think I reverse it... best cultures help build best peoples... If you dont have a culture , in spite of having a great set of individuals you may not have a great Team, or in spite of having a great Team you may end up not having a great organization...

2. Chose Diamond, Chose Gold , Chose Stone
Aint we the same people who Interview the people and decide whether they fit the job roles or not? In one of the previous posts a couple of years ago I wrote.. How to chose the right guy
eventually I also meant that lets hire those who just not fit the role, but beyond. We choose people, we dont choose Team members... If you go by Technical capabilities you need in your team, you may end up hiring a geek who stinks, doesnt speak to anyone but the screen and returns a scare for a smile... So its you who has to decide if you want a diamond that can work hard, Gold that can be sold well or a Stone that may not be as hard as a diamond, not as presentable as a stone, but can build a Great Wall of Chine when set with others as a group or Team and can compliment them too at the same time...

3. Empower them
We usually end up only coaching and coaxing our Team, we end up telling them what to do and how, they do that and they continue to do that... in process what they learn? forget if you are not looking them to learn anything... what do they teach you? Nothing????? What do they do when you are not around? How do they react when they are in a disastrous situation? We miss empowering our Teams in our attempt to build teams.

4. Trust them, Treat them
We either trust them too much or nothing... a Mantra for a successful Team is the amount of trust you put on them.... If a developer says 10 days for an effort, how many times do you ask him to justify it? If your developer is stuck in something bad, how many times you tell him that somebody else could have resolved this issue in 5 mins... Knowingly unknowingly we do this... often and more often....Trust Team , Trust them...

5. Throw them in the Sea and float them on a luke warm tub
Bring them into action in disastrous situation and let them work on best things otherwise, throw them into sucker bugs and throw them into challenges... try out all situations with them so they have a perspective of Team, Culture, Situation, Customer and Organizational goals...

Did you miss any of these while building your Team? If yes work on it now... its never late because you always have great people who work with you and they are learners....