So How Does the Team Concept Work Best?

How can teams be fielded to deliver both the advantages of small teams and the power of a larger organization? Here are several key thoughts:

  • Ensure that the individual, team and company or project goals are in alignment. This alignment is critical for maximum harmony and productivity.

The successive steps to ensure this are:

  • Determine the individuals' short- and long-term objectives.
  • Confirm that these objectives are aligned with the team's and, ultimately, the company's objectives.
  • Confirm the members' commitments of deliverables over a specific time period.
  • Determine how the individual will be measured and evaluated. Agree on how they will be compensated.
  • Hold team members accountable to their goals and commitments. In this arrangement, it's not a matter of reward or punishment. It's a business agreement.
  • Give team members freedom to operate as they see fit by minimizing the number of rules regarding how goals will be achieved.
  • Agree that all team members will commit to gathering feedback for guidance.

To do this the organization must:

  • Train the members to seek and accept feedback.
  • Provide a full-feedback environment for their guidance. (This allows the individual and the team the freedom to get the job done when, where and how they believe it needs to be; use their problem-solving and entrepreneurial instincts; reap what they sow; and learn from their mistakes.)
  • Solicit and listen to the team’s input as to who is to be on their team.
  • The company must provide the resources that the individuals and teams could not reasonably supply for themselves due to economies of scale:
    • Financial security should be spread over multiple clients/projects in the form of monetary income
    • Health insurance, etc. (Employment should not be a hand-to-mouth experience. Otherwise, why not just freelance?)
    • Sources of feedback for guidance (See Chapter Two, “Creating a Full Feedback Environment.”)
    • Administrative support
    • Facilities and equipment
    • Financial support/systems for purchases on the customer’s behalf
    • Company brand awareness, trust and customer loyalty

We encourage individual freedom.
We expect initiative.
We emphasize alignment in purpose.
We reward individual excellence.
We demand teamwork.

(a creed at The Phelps Group)