Saturday, September 26, 2015

Build Teams, Not Committees

Being part of a committee makes everyone cringe, but being part of a team can bring joy. If they are both just groups of people, why do they make us feel so different?  Use this simple comparison chart to understand why your company should rethink committees and focus on team building instead:



One clear leader, the head coach, who brings everyone together and is ultimately responsible for success or failureNo clear leader and no mechanism to unite members
Additional leaders empowered at every level of the team including skill-specific coaches and team captainsPower struggles and power grabs when leadership is unclear
Team members have clearly defined positions and roles for working togetherMembers may not understand their contribution
Defined timeline and ways to measure success throughout the season, as well as pre-season and post-season expectationsVague goals, arbitrary timelines
United against an opposing team or united for a singular achievementOpposition often comes from within the committee and personal goals take precedence
Well defined tasks for each and every time the team gets together come in the form of practice routines, game plans, and even a task to share fun with pizza socials after gamesMeetings may be scheduled in advance but members may not know what they are intended to achieve, agendas and summaries may not be offered to members
Keep members motivated and acknowledged for their efforts and achievementsFail to recognize the value members bring and their individual contributions

Simply reclassifying committees as teams is not enough if you lack motivating leaders and empowered members who are trusted to execute their well defined tasks and coached on paths to improvements when they fall short.  We like sports metaphors because they generally make us feel good about ourselves and others, work should be able to do the same.

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