Extract from a book by Mike Wash – 54 Tools and Techniques for Business Excellence. Published by MB2000. Oct 2007
Can you recognize or relate to this?
Case study 1: The Perfect Team
The anticipation of meeting up again was always mixed with excitement
and a little anxiety. Excitement because of the potential of us producing
something special, the anxiety – well, I guess my own insecurity of wanting
to do well and not let anyone down.
Our meeting room is not ideal, yet its limitations dwindle into
insignificance once we launch into the task in hand.
The noise levels before we start reflect the frantic catching up with each
other, the quick re-establishment of friendships and the exchange of
questions and insights about our journey together so far.
We start on time, our leader calling us all together and although we do
have one or two people drifting in, they are greeted with recognition that
they will be giving themselves a bad time for being late and are quickly
integrated with support.
We get down to the task in hand, immediately we fall into role, everyone
knowing exactly what’s expected of them, and we all have that bit of spare
capacity to look around and check if everyone else is OK and clear. In
every team there are different levels of ability and in our team, we are
blessed with high flyers, yet they are also recognised as equal team
members and will readily create a coaching partnership passing on secrets
of extraordinary performance to the less able.
Most teams will also develop cliques, and in ours, well they are not so
much cliques, but naturally developing sub-groups coming together through
age or genuine friendships – these dynamics are used to an advantage,
offering additional support to each other and are viewed as a norm, rather
than a threat.
We are all clear about the ultimate goal and every time we meet – the
goal and vision is colourfully illustrated reminding us of the incentive for
giving our best and the ultimate sense of satisfaction we will all feel
knowing what we will have achieved.
It’s not all plain sailing – there are mistakes. Yet, when this happens,
not only the individuals concerned crave to understand why, they also
demand feedback so they can learn to improve. These moments can be
intense yet the feedback is expressed with sensitivity and skill and everyone
pays attention as this moment may offer that gem of learning and insight to
help each one of us.
We make rapid progress and the contribution each one makes begins to
create a synergy unique to the collective experience and skills we all bring.
We usually meet towards the end of the day, yet even though many of us
are tired, sometimes exhausted, the uplift and adrenaline found in us
working together dissipates any weariness.
The facilitating skills of our leader are apparent, bringing us in
appropriately so our contribution is valued and maximised and each time he
offers guidance and direction, we become clearer on how collectively we
are progressing toward our goal. Somehow, we simultaneously work at an
individual, group and organisational level where, almost by magic, we can
be sure the information or resources will be presented in such a way that
demonstrates real empathy for what each one of us is trying to achieve.
We develop a form of temporary dependency on each other and with
this goes a real sense of responsibility to follow through, and a trust that
your team members will do the same.
The smiles are greatest when moments of creative spontaneity produce
innovative ideas that make a difference between standard performance and
extraordinary performance. Every idea is valued, at the same time; those
with experience are well respected, so it’s the marriage of differences that
create a real sense of special satisfaction.
At the end of our meeting, there’s a sense of reluctance to part quickly –
almost as if there is some unfinished business – this is often confirmed
when we decide to debrief socially and relax together as friends, laughing,
joking and already planning together for the next milestone on our journey
together toward this single goal that binds us as a team.
Rehearsal night for the
Premier of UK
‘Titanic – The Musical’
Performed by The York Musical Theatre Company
Book available from www.54-self-help-books.com