Well-functioning teams are the foundation of modern workplace, and a source of competitive advantage for corporations that develop innovative products and deliver superior performance to investors.
Well-functioning teams include three elements: a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to the organization, a spirit of genuine camaraderie among team members, and consistent willingness to sacrifice personal interest in favor of the larger good. With these assets in place, an organization is much more likely to enjoy the many advantages of an enhanced decision-making process.
By way of illustration, let’s imagine a team meeting in which eight colleagues gather to formulate plans for an important new product line. Though there are obvious pressures, the atmosphere at the meeting remains open, tolerant, and convivial. As the meeting unfolds, a flurry of innovative ideas is put forward. There is no sense of constraint restriction. Everyone feels perfectly at ease in presenting a wide variety of novel and provocative suggestions. The subsequent discussions are candid, even blunt, but they never deteriorate to a level of ill-spirited bickering.
In the energetic give-and-take that follows, most of the proposals are ultimately rejected but few ideas survive the group’s critical scrutiny and appear to have real merit. Eventually, a consensus emerges that all members of the group freely endorse. Everyone at the table feels a strong sense of personal investment in the final proposal. In addition, participants leave the session confirmed in their belief that the process itself had integrity—in other words, no administrative contrivance and no prearranged agendas.
What has just been described is a snapshot of a well-oiled problem-solving machine, the likes of which every organization must strive to create. The beauty of such an instrument lies in its potential to tap into creative energies of individual team members while simultaneously benefiting from refinements afforded by a collective assessment process.
*This is an extract from Michael Soupios And Panos Mourdoukoutas, The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership: Ancient Wisdom For Modern Leaders (New York: AMACOM).