… Very interesting article and suggestions by John Baldoni from Harvard Business Publishing. In fact, such outperforming teams are not easy to find in corporates, they can be found mostly in entities where group activities are usually executed together such as in firefighting departments. Nevertheless, I would suggest a different perspective here. Leaders cab instill specific identity to a team that would encourage overdelivering and outperformance. Taskforces of software programmers that are labled ‘innovative buddies’ or ‘telecom gurus’ for a team of network engineers would encourage outperformance. Giving an identity to teams; argurably; would inculcate outstanding performance. — Mouaz

The fire chief is clearly displeased. He angrily upbraids his firefighting team for disregarding his direct order to evacuate a building that was on the verge of exploding. The firemen had their reasons for doing what they did, but in overriding direct orders they put themselves and their unit in added danger. Notably as the chief is chastising the team, he makes it clear that he considers the unit to be among the very best at what it does.

This scene is from Rescue Me, the long-running drama series created by and starring Denis Leary. While the particulars are fictional, the behavior of the chief and the firefighters should be a lesson to anyone in management. Highly performing teams, especially those that have worked together for a while, often abide by their own rules. On the one hand, it is a secret to their effectiveness; on the other hand, when teams ignore directives from their management, it can spell trouble.

Managers of such teams are blessed with effective productivity, but cursed with dealing with attitudes that lead to teams doing what they want to do when they want to do it. This makes for good drama in a television series, but causes rifts that can fracture organizational effectiveness. The challenge for the manager is to insist on discipline as well as underscore respect for the team’s abilities and accomplishments. Here are some suggestions for mining the team’s effectiveness but maintaining organizational unity.

Pay tribute. Recognize the team for what it has achieved. Make certain individuals on the team know how much you respect them and their work. Go out of your way to make them feel welcome. Talk up their accomplishments to higher ups. In short, make the team feel special. Compensation should reflect how well the organization regards the team’s contributions.”

… Read the full article at: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/baldoni/2009/08/how_to_manage_your_high-perfor.html

How to Manage Your High-Performing Team

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