Tag Archives: leadership

Best Methods for Motivating Teams

Motivating Teams – Granger Whitelaw

Introduction:

Working with teams, whether as leader of a single team or manager of several, is an essential part of a manager’s remit. Teamwork is rapidly becoming the preferred practice in many organizations as traditional corporate hierarchies give way to flat, multi-skilled working methods. This section is an indispensable and practical guide to leading teams with expertise, covering subjects such as defining the skills required to complete a project, establishing trust between individuals within a team, and maximizing the performance of that team. The section is vital reading for any one involved in teamwork, whether as a novice or as an experienced team leader.

This month we will discuss:

1) Understanding How teams work

Understanding How Teams Work

Teamwork is the foundation of all successful management. Managing teams well is a major and stimulating challenge to any manager, form novice to experienced hand.

1) What Makes A Good Team?

A true team is a living, constantly changing, dynamic force in which a number of people come together to work. Team members discuss their objectives, assess ideas, make decisions, and work towards their targets together.

A) Working Together

All successful teams demonstrate the same fundamental features: strong and effective leadership; the establishment of precise objectives; making informed decisions; the ability to act quickly upon these decision; communicating freely; mastering the requisite skills and techniques to fulfill the project in hand; providing clear targets for the team to work towards; and – above all – finding the right balance of people to work together for the common good of the team.

B) Analyzing Team Tasks

Successful teams can be formed by 2 to 25 or more people, but much more important than size is shape – the pattern of working into which team member settle to perform their given tasks. There are three basic methods of performing a task:

Repetitive task and familiar work require each team member to have a fixed role, which is fulfilled independently, as on assembly lines;

Projects that require some creative input require team members to have fixed roles and working procedures, but also work in unison, as when generating new products;

Work that demands constant creative input and personal contributions requires people to work very closely as partners. This style of working is prevalent among senior management.

Working Well Together

A team of manager’s discuses a new plan that has been put forward by a member of the team. All of the team members are free to join the discussion. Later, the team leader will assess the contribution.

C) Achieving Potential

There is no limit to the potential of a good team. Given an “impossible” task, team members will reinforce each other’s confidence as they seek to turn the “impossible” into reality. The collective ability to innovate is stronger than that of individuals because the combined brainpower of a team, however small in number, exceeds that of any one person. By harnessing this power, a team can go beyond simple, useful improvements to achieve real breakthrough. For example, in one company an engineering team was asked to double machine reliability. They thought it impossible, but went on to produce a plan that pebbled performance.

Working Towards Understanding Encouraging open communication and the free flow of information within a team ensures that each member is fully aware of the talents and experience available within the group.

Note:

Remember that team members must support each other Break long-term aims into short term projects.

D) Knowing Team Goals

Once a team has been formed, the next major step is to establish its goals. There is little point in having a team that is raring to go if its members are all pursuing disparate aims. Goal may very well change over a team’s existence: for example if a new product is being launched on the market, the first priority will be for the team to concentrate on research into its competition. If the aim is to improve customer satisfaction, the first goal will be to find ways to provide a higher standard of service.

According to the circumstance, teamwork goals might include:

Increasing the rate of productivity in a manufacturing company;

Improving the quality of production;

involving all employees in decision making process to increase job satisfaction;

Looking at working systems and practices to reduce time wastage;

Working together with customers to build closer relationships so that the need of the market can be better understood.

Improving Performance

In a survey of 230 personnel executives, the American society of training and development found that teamwork led to a substantial rise in performance in key areas.

Cultural Differences

Cross-functional, multi-disciplinary, interdepartmental teams are spreading fast in the west, having been established in Japan for many years. In some British companies, managers already spend half their time working in such teams; and the democratic attitude of many North American’s has helped them to adapt well to this way of working. Continental Europeans still tend to be more comfortable with traditional hierarchical systems, but increasing competitive pressure and the need for speed-your-market are now forcing change on mangers in many industries.

Note: Allocate a clear deadline for each of your projects.

www.careerpath.cc

article source: adzines.com

Granger Whitelaw

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Making Leadership, Genuine, Meaningful, and Productive

Leadership, Genuine, Meaningful and Productive

One of the best lessons I have learned is the impact and importance of leadership. It is so easy to identify dysfunctional leadership in a company (or of a governmental entity!). Many times, the common misconception is that the executives in the “ivory tower” sit around and relax, while the “workers” do all the work. Of course, happy and motivated employees are essential to a company (I still teach that in seminars that I conduct). But I have observed and learned that it is the leadership in an enterprise that makes the difference … and that is not exclusive to commerce.

I am an avid devotee of Right Action, and I believe it is the umbrella for everything worthwhile in life, in our endeavors and, in my opinion, a solemn responsibility of every human being. Power comes not from dictatorship but from respect, logic and compassion … all given by and returned to a quality leader. The substance of any situation is, of course, important … but what makes any enterprise function well, easily, profitably and with verve and passion is people working together. That is when Spirit is at its best, when respect and honor are not just words and when a truly great company shines in daylight and in darkness. For many years, I counseled and taught this very principle. I gave a seminar called “The Magic of People” in which I taught the value and wisdom of “people first.” It is the essence of leadership.

Vision is extending ideas, sometimes simple ideas, “outside the box” and creating a new, really new, thought. The person who conceived of eBay is a good example of this … they thought that the Internet had in it, as a part of its intrinsic nature, some characteristic that would fit some human need that was not yet conceived. They thought about many commonplace human endeavors and matched them up with Internet capabilities … and, yes, they came up with the activity “auction” and realized that the net was an ideal vehicle to carry that concept. This venture capitalist took the idea and translated it into action. It was a billion dollar idea!

Not to veer from the point here, it is essential for the leader to constantly be projecting, envisioning, visualizing … that is the root of entrepreneurial genius. Of course an action plan is required … but only after the leader has set the stage for the performance.

Excerpts from a new book, “Looking for a Better World.” Read more at: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/description.asp?ISBN=0-7414-2134-8

Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.

article source: adzines.com