We have all probably been in situations where a team was formed and before it even got to work, there were others who had doubts whether it would achieve anything. Often these teams do not just achieve what was expected but they go on to exceed expectations. So how can teams not just achieve results but exceed expectations of others?
1. Goal clarity
Team members need to understand what they are trying to achieve and why it is important to achieve. This combination removes any fuzziness and also gets the team connected to the downsides and upsides of achievement or non achievement. For example, a goal might be to reduce the time it takes from taking an order to receiving payment from a customer by 5 days. This might be important because it allows the company to reduce borrowing to finance day to day working capital and allow the opportunity to borrow to finance new investments.
2. Create team buy-in
Teams will only really strive to deliver results if they are totally bought into the benefits of the results. Take for example people who work on development projects in third world countries. These people are totally bought into the benefits of say providing safe drinking water or building a new medical facility. If you want to exceed expectations, make sure you create buy-in.
3. Value contributions
Every member of a team brings something special to a team. You don’t want to miss out on that contribution do you? When the team brings the full range of potential and contribution it achieves more. It might take a bit of time and training to get people to the stage where they are taking and building on different perspectives but when they reach that stage the possibilities are endless.
4. Aim high
A team can aim to deliver what is required and this will provide benefits. Chances are the team will identify other opportunities to create what might be an even better result. Encourage teams to aim high and provide the best possible outcome.
5. Keep focus on the results
Obstacles, objections, cynicism and other barriers will appear. It is all too easy to get sucked into a position where you are trying to defend the rights and wrongs of what you are trying to achieve. Resist this and keep the focus on the results.
Bottom line – Teams have the potential not just to deliver results but to exceed expectations. So what will you do differently on your team?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.