“People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.”
That was said by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd U.S. President.
Let’s keep it simple: in building a successful company, it’s wise to ask two key questions:
- Where are we going? This is your vision statement. It can include your company’s reason for existing (purpose), its mission (its main task), your primary goals, and its core values (what you stand for).
- How are we going to get there? This is your roadmap and includes your plans (strategic, operating, marketing, and financial), the team you need to execute the plans, and all the other necessary resources.
My experience of 45+ years has shown me that most micro-business owners and executive teams don’t have clear answers to these two questions.
I was part of a team that built a $33 million statewide company, and we never discussed these issues. So, you CAN build a multi-million dollar enterprise without answering these questions clearly. It’s just more difficult, involves a lot more frustration, allows for many more mistakes, and is far more costly.
This article will tackle a key component of building a profitable, thriving business. That component is team building and is a partial answer to question #2 above.
First, let’s define “team building”: Team building is an organized effort to improve team effectiveness.
I prefer to keep things as simple as possible, and this is a clear definition of our purpose and one we can “sink our teeth into.” And when I say “simple,” I don’t necessarily mean “easy.”
Do You Need a Team Building Initiative?
Team building can involve a number of objectives, such as:
- Critiquing performance through introspection and feedback
- Building trust amongst team members, as well as with other teams
- Improving communication
- Enhancing creativity and innovation (new ideas, methods, and products)
- Refining decision making
- Advancing delegation
- Upgrading your planning processes and
- Driving out fear (one of management guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s 14 Points for the Transformation of American Management).
When should you consider team-building initiatives? Consider it if you as a leader recognize that your team or teams just aren’t cranking on all eight cylinders and that there are blocks to team effectiveness.
Moving The Team Building Initiative Forward
This is one of those activities you can try on your own, or you can get help from a seasoned facilitator who can guide your team-building process.
Here are several suggestions for the “do-it-yourselfers”:
- First, interview team members individually and ask them about:
- What are the team’s key problems?
- The group’s major strengths?
- What are the group’s major weaknesses?
- How do they feel about being a member of this particular team?
- What would make the group more effective?
- What are the goals of the team?
- Are issues faced openly and honestly?
- Do team members cooperate with each other?
Then, set aside the time to carry out team-building initiatives and exercises. This can be a short session of an hour each week for several weeks, longer sessions of several hours, or even a concentrated, focused day or two off-site.
The key is to invest in the effort by making time for it and letting everyone know its importance.
Skilled facilitators have numerous tools to help build team effectiveness, so depending on your needs, consider this option.
If you use teams to get work done, as a leader, you want a team that is effective, efficient, cohesive, employs the strengths of the people on the team to maximum effect, and that produces desired results.
Set the standards for your organization, and don’t settle for anything less.
Reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more. My personal email is or text or leave a message at 949-338-7141.
Jim Castiglia is the founder of Business Street Fighter Consulting and supports entrepreneurial business owners in their desire to grow and maximize the value of their business. He can be reached by email at JimC@BSF.consulting or by phone at 919.263.1256. Visit www.BSF.consulting