Who’s On YOUR Team?

16th January 2017

Posted In: WMB Living | Your Business

Today, the workplace is changing from the silo based functional model to a more matrix, workflow based model.  This is mainly due to the years where organisations had to do more with the resources they already had, and so flexible groups and teams needed to be formed and disbanded as the needs of the organisation demanded.

So, who then is your team?  If you only see your team as the people who report directly to the same team leader, then you are seriously missing something.  What about the people who dip in and out of your team, when working on a particular project?  As part of that group, you need to work with and perhaps lead everyone, not just the ones who are part of your formal structure.

In my own experience, one of the most difficult parts of modern organisations is trying to get support from other departments to help achieve an objective that is not on their list of priorities.

Workflows are aligned to relationships.  To be able to successfully operate in business you need to consider all those relationships and treat them as part of your team.  How you care for your team, how you develop them and motivate them, how you communicate with them – all needs to be extended outside of the “formal structure”.  As a leader, you are just as responsible for those people as you are for your direct reports.  As a team member, you are equally responsible as your colleagues for delivering organisational results.

One way of reinforcing this theme, Keith Ferrazzi suggests, is to make people, let’s say 20%, responsible for the results of their colleague.  Keith is founder and CEO of research and consulting firm Ferrazzi Greenlight in Los Angeles. I heard him speak recently at the Pendulum Summit in Dublin. He highlights an interesting concept, although it could be difficult to implement but there is some merit in introducing the idea that relationships in the workplace should not be transactional.  Employees with the most extensive personal network are 7% more productive, get better jobs, are more likely to be promoted early and earn larger bonuses. (MIT, 2009).

Personally, I believe that, although some organisations cling desperately to the silo based functional model, it will and needs to become defunct.  Adaptability and flexibility are critical to the survival of businesses and sticking to pre-defined departmental boxes does not serve the complex and fast-paced world we currently live in.  While those new models will bring their own challenges, they will ensure that the very best talent in the organisations are putting their heads together to solve global business issues across all boundaries.  The no. 1 factor that High Performance Business teams have is an investment in deep social bonds. (Harvard Business Review, 2007).

So consider this.  “Who is YOUR team?” – Name them.  If you use the concepts above, I’m betting that it is considerably bigger than you would originally have thought.  How do you lead, influence and care for that team? How will you begin to change the way you work today?

Barbara Nugent is founding director of Cork-based Transilient Coaching. http://www.transilientcoaching.ie/