For the past decade, I’ve been living amongst professional peers who fashion themselves as “great places to work” or “employers of choice.” Once your team has been recognized as organizationally healthy, your baseline for excellence recalibrates. You begin by observing your new peer group and realizing that your excellence is someone else’s mediocre. Each day is now filled with actions that solve the gap analysis of great culture. What does our team need to accomplish to reach the elite status of our new role models?
Your team becomes a triage unit selecting the highest impact initiatives. Eventually, the team re-measures itself against its peers and refreshes the gap analysis for the next recalibration of goals. Ideally, the process never ends since excellence is never static. When the target changes, so, too, does the strategy and technique.
Every once in a while, I stumble upon a group that hasn’t yet discovered the path to team health and organizational effectiveness. The language of positive culture is unfamiliar. The symptoms of respectful, productive norms are not visible. Actions that detract from the team’s well being are normalized and sanctioned. When this profile characterizes an existing team, the pathology is often deeply rooted and the repair is more daunting. When this occurs in a new team, however, a simple re-boot can often turn things in the right direction quickly.
In today’s economy, team effectiveness is no longer a luxury.