Successful IT delivery requires requires the spinning of many plates. Collaboration, team building, mutual trust and personal confidence are essential to your management team in order to ensure its smooth running but these are all tested in times of change.
Without them, projects and initiatives fail to deliver value, and this in turn can have serious consequences for IT customers’ business, as well as for IT itself.
Many IT organisations struggle to balance the conflicting demands of efficiency, agility, control and perpetual change that are constantly heaped on them. How can an established IT organisation, built on structures and processes from the 1970-1990s, cope with these ever increasing challenges?
Effective management collaboration enables teams to have healthy debates, develop and maintain trust and encourage innovative thinking.
Here are my tips on creating a culture to encourage effective management collaboration:
1 – Why work together?
It has amazed me during my years as a consultant the numbers of groups of people I have met with a leader in common that think they are a team. Many of them have their own agendas and are only working towards their individual goals. Yet many still believe they are part of a functioning team.
As a management team it is vital that individuals understand the greater aims and goals that the team is striving for. There will of course be individual tasks to achieve the team goals but the bigger picture should never be forgotten.
Set team goals. Create simple clear plans that define current and future goals for the team. There can be a danger that individuals will be protective of their areas. It can be damaging if just one or two members of the management team concentrate on their individual area and not the team as a whole. Aim for clarity over complexity with simple team plans and goals.
Sharing the goals for the team rather than just concentrating on individual tasks means that all team members support and promote a single point of view.
I would also recommend focussung on means and methods of communication. Establishing a distinct set of priorities can help all management team members to feel included. Keeping everyone on the same page will enable the management team to focus and flourish.
2 – Develop a Personal Understanding
Managing a team of people that don’t trust one another is challenging and draining. In fact a team without trust isn’t a team. Individuals may battle over information and responsibilities. Progress can be slow. Before long you may feel yourself climbing into the fetal position and reciting the “Cooperation song” from Sesame Street.
It doesn’t matter how capable the individuals within your team are, they wont be working to their full potential if there’s no trust. Team members who trust one another are far more likely to share knowledge, and communicate openly. Pre-requisites of an effective team.
In order to start to gain trust within your team the individuals need to understand each other. Knowing what excites and inspires your team mates will help to understand their motives.
Gather intelligence. Learn what defines the strengths and capabilities of your colleagues. What are the real skills that each member brings to the table? What skills are they missing? Can these be filled by another member of the team?
Make it clear that it’s time to be honest. No game playing or posturing. You want them to be themselves.
Remember, not all team members have the same drive to succeed or willingness to sacrifice. Everyone is different. Be mindful to embrace the differences.
3 – Overall Performance is an Individual Responsibility
A team’s success depends on all the team members. Individuals often accept mediocrity in other team members because they believe there is nothing they can do. It’s seen to be the team leader’s responsibility to deal with this – often noone wants to step on anyone’s toes.
In fact, an over reliance on the management team leader can prevent the team from reaching its potential.
It is important to create a culture where individuals recognise that the team’s performance depends on each of them. To do this there needs to be a common understanding of the team’s purpose. Each team shares responsibility for success and this includes the need to raise issues and help out thier colleagues in order to get things done.
Avoiding dealing with individual issues of performance can create a sense of dissatisfaction and resentment. The key is to create an open and honest forum for communication in a non-judgmental way.
Successfully resolving conflict helps to develop trust, appreciation and understanding of one another.
Moving Forward with Management Collaboration
There are many new thoughts and approaches on how to deliver seamless technology solutions in a constantly changing market. As opinions may be divided on strategy and tactics, it’s vital to have a solid sense of teamwork, shared goals and trust across the leadership team.
Success depends on your ability to work together…
Barclay Rae Consulting runs a short programme of individual mentoring and group workshops for management teams.
If you would like to know more about how your management team can develop trust and confidence in order to achieve synergy of approach and improved co-operation and collaboration then get in touch or for more information visit our workshops page.