perhaps focus more on team than individual goals

The start of a new year usually means new individual goals, targets and scorecards. But with everything that is going on around us, especially the uncertainty of the future, why focus on goal setting? Any why focus on team goals?

Usually, after a flurry of activity many of these will be entered into HR systems or put away in a draw and generally only looked at again at the end of the year; or possibly as part of a mid-year review.

I’d like to suggest that now is the time to give greater focus to team targets and alignment around team goals. The reason is that is via teams where much of our needed support derives.

Rather than just focusing on individual targets, top performing organisations take time to review and refresh team goals and objectives. Given that most work in our organisations is done by teams, it is a wonder that we don’t pay more attention to these. At the end of the day, by working together effectively, we can achieve outcomes far beyond anything we could accomplish individually. 

As you come together as a team at the start of 2020, here are a few simple questions you can explore together:

  1. Purpose: Are we all clear and aligned on what is our unique team purpose? Do others see our purpose the same way? Do we actually still need to exist as a team.
  2. Outcomes: Are we (still) delivering what our stakeholders expect of us? Do we really know what our stakeholders want?
  3. Task: What is the work that only we can do as a team? Have we empowered those below us and pushed decision making down to the lowest appropriate levels in our organisation?
  4. Process: Do we all agree on how we will work together, make decisions, value conflict and behave when outside the team room? Are we aware if we fall into patterns of unproductive behaviour? 
  5. Team Type: Are we clear on what type of team we need to be, and when, in order to be most effective? What is the role of our team leader?
  6. Support: Are we getting the right internal and external support and coaching to be effective? Do we take time to reflect on our own performance in an open and honest way?

The ultimate question to ask is “am I satisfied being a member of this team?” Last year I worked with the CEO of an engineering company and his leadership team. After exploring these questions, and others, they created clarity around their unique purpose as the executive leadership team. They also simplified their team meetings by separating operations and strategic agendas, meaning that not everyone needed to attend every meeting. Finally, they reduced the need for update presentations by agreeing to complete a simple update sheet, making this available before the meeting and committing to read this ahead of time.  The result, more focused meetings addressing the strategic needs of the organisation and a freeing up of executives’ time to focus on what really matters. 

What questions will you explore with your team as you start 2021?

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