Six Steps to Team Alignment.
One of my favourite stories is about the Canadian Geese who fly south for the winter. They fly in perfect alignment in an inverted V formation. This allows them to streamline the aerodynamics and lessen the drag and resistance on the flock.
But even more interesting is the way they change leader as they go. As the bird at the front tires, they drop to the back of the flock so they can ride on the uplift of the others in front. A new leader takes over and they continue uninterrupted, on their journey.
This is what one of my clients, Mark Parry, MD of Ron Finemore Transport, calls a leader-full organisation, rather than a leader-led organisation. Where there is complete alignment amongst the team about where they are going and how they will get there and, any one team member can take over when needed.
“If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Patrick Lencioni: “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”:
Alignment is one of the two key determinants of high performing teams. The other is Trust which we spoke about last month. According to Integro there are three reasons why teams fail to achieve Alignment:
- Team members don’t really understand what alignment means
- Teams don’t focus on getting into alignment on the two most important things that create alignment: purpose and values
- A lack of trust in the team prevents them from having the robust conversations they need to have to get into alignment.
For me alignment is not about having a group of ‘yes people’ who go along with everything and are afraid to challenge the status quo. That is not the stuff of high performing teams. Alignment in my mind is having a solid foundation of purpose and values to draw on which fuels debate but also provides guidance to the team when making important decisions.
So, as we emerge from lockdowns and prepare our organisations for the changes ahead it is timely to pause and ask three questions. Are we aligned? Do we have a plan and is everyone on board? Do we have the team to lead our organisation forward and are they prepared?
Is your team aligned?
Integro have identified the six Factors necessary for Team Alignment. How would you rate your team?
- Purpose. Can everyone explain why the team exist?
- Values. Does everyone understand the guiding principles by which the team must operate?
- Vision. Is there a clearly defined picture amongst team members about what the team aspires to be at a particular time in the future?
- Goals. Do people know what needs to be achieved in the short term to achieve the vision?
- Priorities. Do team members know what the most important things are they need to focus on to achieve their goals?
- Roles. Does each team member know what they must do individually to achieve the vision and goals?
The benefits of alignment can be significant for your business:
- Greater efficiency in making decisions
- Faster take-up on agreed actions and achieving goals
- More productive meetings and less time wasting
- Decreased turnover
If you are ready to take your team to the next level especially in this changing work environment, then read more in the attached White Paper: The Evolution of High Performing Teams. Then contact us at email@example.com to discuss how we can help you build a high performing team to drive your business to success.