Why does your team exist? Do you know? Would your understanding be the same as each of your colleagues in your team? If a new member of your team joined, would they get the same reply from each team member they asked? Based on my experience, in the majority of cases, probably not.
Recently, I was facilitating an individual and team development programme with a team of 8. One of the first questions I asked them was,
“What is the foundation upon which a great team is built?”
Many suggestions were put forward including Communication, Trust, Common Goal, to name but a few.
Whilst some research and books on team development suggest Trust is the foundation, I disagree. My challenge back to them was that even if you trusted someone, would you join them and their team, if the reason their team existed didn’t excite or enthuse you? The group response was a definite no on this.
After further discussion within the group, it was agreed that the Purpose of the team was the foundation upon which everything else was built.
I agreed with the group and proceeded to share the Team DyNAmics© Model that I’ve created and use with teams. The model is based on my 20+ years’ knowledge and experience of working with teams to increase individual and team engagement and effectiveness, and indeed, Purpose is where it all begins.
Allegedly, a true story to illustrate this. During a visit to the NASA space centre in 1962, President Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”
The janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon, Mr. President.”
What a great story! Obviously, the janitor understood the importance of his contribution and how his role linked into the overall purpose of the NASA Space Team at the time. He truly felt he was a valuable part of something bigger than himself, and his attitude created a feeling of self-confidence in his mission. He wasn’t merely a janitor, he was a member of the 1962 NASA Space Team! He knew the Purpose of the team and the part his role played.
So What Is Required To Clearly Define Team Purpose?
Based on my experience, there are three elements that need to be included.
- Why does your team exist?
- What does this enable?
- What are the benefits that this delivers?
It would be totally inappropriate for me to share the outcomes, based on helping my clients to put together their Purpose statement, so I have chosen to share that of my organisation, Ngagementworks.
Ngagementworks exists to provide learning and development solutions that, engage individuals and motivates teams, helping them transform and achieve even greater success, resulting in increased engagement and effectiveness at individual, team and organisational levels.
It should be clear from the above that it includes all of the 3 elements I have mentioned, why it exists, what this enables and what are the benefits.
I hope the above gives you food for thought and helps you and your team achieve even greater success.
If you wish to find out more about the other 15 key elements, that as a leader or team member, you need to pay attention to, if you want to make your team as engaged and effective as possible plus, how to measure them, please read this article Team DyNAmics© – The Key To Increased Individual & Team Engagement.
If you’d like further information, please do email me via firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours behaviourally, Nick
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Hi Nick – I enjoyed this post very much and it has me thinking about the team I am in at the moment who have a great purpose in ensuring that mental health services provide a good standard of care and that staff within the Locality feel they are supported by their management team. Thanks for the continued inspiration!
Thank you Anastasia, I’m glad you’re finding my articles of value. I’m a literally in the middle of doing a complete refresh of the site, to make it easier for people to navigate and find the articles they require. Watch this space.