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6 critical failure points for successful teams









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Over the past couple of decades, a cult has grown up around teams.

There is a strong belief that working in teams makes us more creative and productive and it is so widespread that when faced with a challenging new task, leaders are quick to assume that teams are the best way to get the job done.

I bet as you are reading this you are thinking the same… 

Yet research (Hackman et al etc.) has consistently shows that teams, especially disruptive teams (teams that are made up of strong personalities, expertise and experience) often fail to deliver on their potential.

Here are the 6 common failure points that stop teams reaching their potential:

  1. No compelling vision (or goals) - It is not that teams don't start with a vision or even objectives, it is just that organisations change and teams often don't. The vision is often no longer compelling enough to focus and drive the behaviour of the team to meet its goals. 

  2. Absence of Identity - For many being part of a team is seen as an addition to their day job or their work passion. They don't feel the level of attachment or accountability to their team or its objectives to truly make it successful

  3. Lack of Commitment – Whilst team members often have a strong belief in their own abilities to succeed this does not necessarily translate into the conviction (and the extra discretionary effort) that helps the team achieve its goals. 

  4. Levels of Distrust – When you ask team members if they trust their colleagues, they will often say “of course” but ask them if they think team members look out for their best interests or the teams or their own, then you get a true indication of the level of trust within the team.  Teams can fail to reach their potential because of the uncertainty that people feel about their team members, especially their ability to focus on the team goals. 

  5. Inadequate Communication – It may seem obvious that if you are in a team you need to communicate and collaborate, but many teams do not deliver on their potential because the team focuses on priorities that close down discussion, which results in people not speaking out, listening and sharing their ideas. 

  6. A failure to work together (Working in silos)  –  Teams on paper that should produce outstanding results (they have successful people in them, with great experience and expertise) fail because when things are difficult they don’t pull together as a team. 

If you recognise these failure points and are interested in knowing how we build teams that don't succumb to these issues and are able to deliver outstanding results, check out our EQ Team Maps here.


 

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