THE PERFORMANCE FACTOR: Unlocking The Secrets Of Teamwork Pat MacMillan
c.2001 Broadman and Holman pp332 price $39.95
P.M. founder and Ceo of Team Resources Inc. an international consulting firm.
PART ONE New Century New Rules No New Rulebook.
Ch. 1 "What’s The Standard Operating Procedure In This Situation?"
"When reality changes and our paradigms don’t, we lose the ability to see and respond appropriately to change." p.15. To build a team based organization requires a high level of trust, acceptance and respect among co-workers. An expectation of a return to "normal" in these times of change is unrealistic. The goals of a successful organization are quality, service and value. Excellence for an organization will not happen without strong (team) leadership. "Team structure provides a medium for - leadership to be released." p.16.
Ch.2 Business in the 21st Century is a Team Sport.
Teams and teamwork are only a part of success in the 21st century. What distinquishes a team from other ordinary groups is its exceptionally high level of performance. Synergy must be a part of team. e.g. Geese flying in formation gain up to 70 percent more flying range. Teamwork cannot be mandated. "A team is a group of people commited to a common purpose who choose to co-operate in order to achieve exceptional results." p.30.
PART TWO Characteristics of a High Performance Team.
Ch. 3 The Charateristics of a High Performance Team.
There are six characteristics of a high performance team; common purpose, crystal clear roles, accepted leadership, effective process, solid relationships and excellent communication. The next six chapters explore these characteristics.
Ch.4 Clear, Common Purpose
"Success is a product of uncompromising attention to purpose." p.41. Fear of failure can cause goals and time lines to become vague which actually causes failure. A task needs to be "clear, common, and compelling". p.44. Diversity of specialties is strenghthened through unity of purpose. This happens through proper alignment. Teams can experience alignment when their mission is "clear, relevant, significant, achievable, and urgent". p. 48-49. The principle is simple the practice is a challenge. An interesting tool is presented to evaluate a mission statement. Members of a team that are not aligned pose a threat to team success and must be responded to. One option would be to align or ‘get out of the boat’. There can be no effective empowerment without alignment.
Ch.5 Crystal Clear Roles
In organizations there are those who produce results (horizontal dimension) and those who are accountable for results (vertical dimension). There are many types of teams that can function in an organization. Maintaining role clarity is an ongoing function. Ongoing change demands it. There are three types of team roles. One is to bring "functional (technical) expertise to the team". p.68. The second is "formal team roles". p.70. Third is "general team member roles" p,71. In the strategy of cooperation on a team there must be division of labor. This produces synergy. Role designs need to be "clear, complete, compatible, complimentary, and consensual".p.72-73. It is important to move from a ‘my job’ mindset to an‘our job’ mindset. Role boundaries need to be carefully managed while at the same time blending roles of the team members. Some interesting tools are presented for clarifying roles in a team setting. Stars on a team are a plus. Division of labor brings interdependence to the team and this has to be properly managed. Cooperation is key.
Ch.6 Accepting Leadership
For particpation to work at it’s optimum requires good leadership. It is needed even though organizations move from structure and rigidity to a fluid style. Leadership is ,"a person influencing people to accomplish a purpose".p.94. Effective leadership is the difference between teams having acceptable results or having exceptional results. There are five qualities that make up the mindset of an effective leader. p.98-99. Leadership styles have changed drastically in the past few years because of changes in organizational life, e.g. Flatter corporate hierarchies. An interesting comparison is made between a traditional leader and a team leader. Leadership cannot be demande it must be accepted. In order for this to happen the leaders mindset must reflect the mindset of those being led. Managers have identified four qualities of leaders. They must be "honest, competent, visionary, and inspirational". p.108. This makes leaders credible. When the levl of acceptance of a leader can be increased it has a positive effect on the success of the team. There is synergy between team leadership and task leadership.
Ch. 7 Effective Team Processes.
There are four things that prevent the development of E.T.P. 1. Unclear need 2.Lack of time. 3 Process evolution versus design. 4 Management opposition. p.118-120. In a process, design is important. Teams must not only work together, they must think together. Evaluating of a process is as important as design. A tool is presented to evaluate team meetings.p.128-129.
Ch.8 Solid Relationships.
"Team synergy is born out of the differences between team members." p.135. Solid relationships are built on trust, understanding, acceptance, respect, courtesy, and mutual accountability. Clear operating principles are necessary in a strong team relationship.
Ch. 9 Excellent Communication.
Stong creativity, problem solving, and decision making are dependent on communication. Good communication involves clarity, accuracy, and efficiency. There are in fact many barriers to effective communications. Only when a message is sent and received as the sender intended is there communication. In verbal communication words make up 10% of the communication, tone and inflection make up 35% and expression and posture 55%. see fig.9-3 p.159. So much for e-mail and voice mail. Because of the options for communications, attention spans have become shorter and information overload has increased. "Listening is not just waiting to talk."p.161. Teams are in trouble when there is too much uniformity and unanimity which interfers with objective solutions. This is "groupthink" Brainstorming and normal group technique (a sophisticated form of brainstorming) are proven processes in communication. Conflict, positive or negative, is an indicator that communication is happening. A team communicating inventory is presented. p.172-173.
PART THREE Turning Principle into Practice; Building the Team
Ch.10 The Path to High Performance Teamwork
Cooperation involves two components, willingness and skill. Willingness preceeds skill. The extent to which these components exist in a team will determine strategies of effectiveness. There are eight stages of team development.p.184. Not all are positive. It is helpful to establish a team profile, re:willingness and skill, to determine how a team’s effectiveness can be improved.
Ch.11 Achieving the Summit of High Performance Teamwork.
The explanation for high performance teamwork is not simple. Four primary issues or questions need to be considered. 1. Alignment-Why am I here? 2. Relationship-Who are you and why are you here.? 3.Task-What shall we do.? 4.Strategy-How shall we do it? p.199. These questions impact the elements of willingness and skills regarding team performance.
Ch. 12 Pitfalls in the Path of High Performance
These pitfalls are either organizational or personal. A "healthy corporate structure and astute leadership" p.230, will be required to deal with these pitfalls. Traditional cultures are usually not friendly to team organizations.
Ch.13 The Principles of Team Development
We need to be aware of two false premises that are out there. "Teams are born" and "We don’t have time to form a team".p.222-223. How a team is developed and how much investment this will require are determined by many factors, the mission of the team, the life span of the team, etc. Ten priciples of team deveopment are identified. Relevant to these principles are things such as "orientation, task definition, developing mission, team relationship, and evaluation." p.249-251.
Ch. 14 Turning Principle into Practice. Building the Team.
Most of this chapter is taken up with a case study. Clarifying the task and training the team are basic to effective practice (performance). The Team Wheel fig.14-1 p.255 and it’s function is an important part of this chapter.
Ch. 15 The Bottom Line for High Performance Teams.
This chapter is a summary of a feature that comes at the end of each chapter called "Bottom Line".
There are some very good things in the Appendix. An actual team survey made up of 48 questions looks like it would be an excellent tool.
What an interesting book to find in a resource centre aimed at church leaders. The principles discussed certainly apply to church leadership.Something that gave this book added interest was a story line involving United Flight 232 which became unflyable at 37000 feet because of a huge mechanical failure. A team of four pilots was able to bring the flight down with many survivors. It is a story of awesome teamwork. One "nugget" of the book is the presentation of the Team Wheel concept presenting the characteristics of a High Performance Team. It has many applications. Team leadership is no longer an option in organizations. Forming a team and making that team high performance is a challenge. This book is very helpful for that challenge.