I believe that the most effective approach to working with teams is to view the team as a “system” -- a living, dynamic organism with characteristics that transcend those of the individual team members. It is also important to view not only the team, but the interconnections to stakeholders who commission the team as well as others in the organization and those whom the organization serves.
This approach instills a systems-thinking mindset that shifts the focus from individuals or one-to-one relationships to the team as a whole to optimize positivity and productivity. It also focuses on the interconnections with Stakeholders the team interacts with.
The key principles to effective leadership team coaching is the confluence of understanding that:
In my coaching with leadership teams, we co-design the most effective approach to reaching goals and utilize a variety of tools and processes for what is most needed. These might include the Team Diagnostic Assessment [Team Diagnostic™], Values exercise, Trust work based on Stephen Covey’s The Speed of Trust™, Intentions and Commitments, and Mission & Purpose work based on Peter Hawkins extensive Leadership Team Coaching research and experience.
Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.
PATRICK LENCIONI, 2002:VII
You made me a better and more effective leader and strengthened our team. I truly see the benefits of effective teamwork. In fact, I now see that effective team work trumps strategy. In other words, you can have the most brilliant strategy but if you don’t have an effective team you won’t realize it, so focus has to be on building effective teams to carry out strategies. Team building is like exercise. It is not a one time event but rather practice that needs to be continually done and refreshed.
- SVP Health Care
Teams outperform individuals acting alone or in large organizational groupings, especially when performance requires multiple skills, judgements and experiences.
KATZENBACH AND SMITH, 1993 B: 9