“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – Old African proverb”
Organisations are most times started by an individual but to scale and succeed, you need a team, having the right team makes all the difference. Now, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine establishing a company where you get to do all the work. That is, you are the CEO, the COO, the frontline manager, the administrative personnel, the cleaner, the gate-man, etc. How effective will you be at running and growing the company to a place of market relevance? The chances are obviously very bleak!
How about being the president of a country and doubling as the ministers, the governors, the lawmakers and the military? How far do you think you will get? Even the mere thought of it is hilarious; isn’t it?
The truth is, successful organisations have mastered the ability of leveraging the skills, knowledge and experiences of other people – their team – to get the job done, and the job of every leader is to bring people together towards the achievement of specific goals and objectives. Now, the big question to ask is this: how can I build and develop the dream team?
According to a Havard Business Review, J. Richard Hackman, who is a professional in the field of organisational behaviour, argues in his research that what matters most to collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes, or behavioural styles of team members. Instead, what teams need to thrive are certain “enabling conditions.” The review detailed some of the “enabling conditions” to be a compelling direction, a strong structure, and a supportive context.
Let us consider vision for starters. Vision is the principal function of every leader, and the communication of that vision is even more essential to the success of an organisation. If your team does not have a clear vision and a compelling direction of the goal of the vision as well as where it leads, it is very likely that such organisation will not last very long. A visionary leader is a leader that can create the future and bring that future into the present. Therefore, a team is as strong as the vision that brings them together.
Another factor that contributes to collaboration and the growth and success of a team in an organisation is the structure and culture upon which the organisation is founded. Organisational structure and culture are the bedrock of any A-level establishment, thus a team that would thrive requires a balanced mix of different skills, experiences and backgrounds.
“Don’t put square pegs in round holes” is a phrase that has almost become a cliché but its facts cannot be overlooked: the fact that a strong work structure is one that is designed to match people to tasks based on strengths – a competence-based structure. Statistics have shown that employees who act collaboratively stick at their tasks 64 percent longer than their solitary peers, while also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and higher success rates. This goes to show the importance of building dynamic teams that work.
It is often said that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. If that link is an introvert in your sales team or a Sanguine in a department that requires focus and high attention to details, then there is a high chance of recording negative growth. The formula to building an A-Team is to match people to tasks.
The third factor for successful team building is to develop a support system for the team. A support system should be designed to equip and train your team members on how to be effective at work, provide ease of access to information, reward exceptional performance, and also integrate technology into the standard operating procedures of the institution for increased efficiency.
Imagine that Alex, an employee in the HR department, needs to prepare a summary of the interviews conducted three months ago for the position of Assistant Operations Manager and this summary is required to select the second preferred candidate. If that organisation lacks technological integration, it will be an arduous task for Alex to prepare the interview summary, and this will in turn slow down the company’s progress. It is therefore pertinent that there are support systems in place for your team to perform beyond expectations.
In conclusion, no one is an island. Everybody needs somebody, and a coalition of individuals with varying backgrounds, skills and experiences towards the achievement of a specific goal will ultimately lead to success, because, as John C. Maxwell says, “Team work makes the dream work!”