Hi and welcome back for part three in this Team Building Series.

Last week we explored developing a ‘Common Purpose’, and its power and benefits.  To surmise, developing a common purpose in the right manner provides;

  • Inclusiveness –  Provides team members the opportunity to be heard free of judgement and without hierarchy or agenda.
  • Creates a sense of ‘we’ – By engaging in the process, all participants have shared their individual knowledge & experience leading to feeling empowered, valued and important
  • Buy – In – Recognising & acknowledging differences and skills sets, embracing new thoughts, and finalising a common purpose creates a sense of ownership, and direction for everyone to aspire
  • Trust – By creating a safe and welcoming environment to be heard, acknowledged and celebrated, there is greater respect and trust among participants, and a true sense of belonging. 
  • Foundation – the establishment of a unified ‘common purpose’ provides a sense of ‘we’, buy-in, ownership, and trust. It represents something bigger than any individual which forms the foundation for lasting success and team cohesion. 

If you’d like to review the previous series articles in developing a ‘Common Purpose’ in the right manner, and the difference between ‘Team Building versus Team Bonding’, you can find them here, 1,  2.

Building great team culture is more than developing a common purpose as the foundation, it’s also about

  1. Identifying strengths, weaknesses;
  2. Identifying Roles and responsibilities;
  3. Developing standards and values of how the team goes about achieving it.

Once again, this process should involve everyone in the team in a transparent environment free of judgement and organisational and team hierarchy.  A key aspect of this, is for team members to have input of how they want to feel and operate each and everyday in striving to achieve the common purpose and ultimate goal.

The benefits of this process are;

  • Further engagement, trust and ownership 
  • A daily focus and set of behaviours to operate by
  • Identification of Strengths, Weaknesses, roles and responsibilities
  • An internal base level standard, and set of values and behaviours which all team members are measured
  • Provides the teams identity and develops team culture
  • Accountability (team members can hold one another accountable if they are not measuring up)
  • Creates more leaders and increases leadership throughout the team and organisation
  • Happiness and belonging – Team members have created an environment in which they want to work, and values they wish to represent.

A quick word on roles & responsibilities. The key to any great functioning team is recognising what requires cooperation and teamwork and what requires collaboration. These aren’t the same thing. Often these terms are used to describe teamwork, and are used interchangeably diluting their meaning and diminish the potential in creating effective teams. Let’s look at the difference;

Collaboration – is working together to create something new in support of a new common purpose.  The key point is that it is not through individual effort, something new is created, and that the glue is the common purpose

Coordination – is sharing information and resources so each team member can accomplish their part in support of the common purpose. It’s about teamwork in implementation. Not creating something new

Cooperation – is important in networks where individuals exchange relevant information and resources in support of each others goals, rather than a shared goal or common purpose. Something new might be achieved as a result, but it comes from the individual, not from the collective team. 

Nothing will dilute an individual, or teams energy more than performing tasks, under the mistaken ‘guise’ collaboration when a common purpose has already been established and all is required is coordination.

Standards become the key pillars of a successful team/organisations culture. When tough times arrive, and they will, standards provide identity and the foundation to operate, evaluate and persist. The biggest challenge in these times is the discipline to stick with them.

So often participants are simply living unchallenged, unfulfilled, doing the bare minimum in their teams existence. By creating a common purpose, standards and a set of values, it will provide ownership, challenging individuals and the collective toward’s its destiny and ultimate success.

So there it is, I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and thanks once gain for reading. As always, please feel free to comment below.

Now that ‘Standards’ has been explored, next in the series will be ‘Leadership’ and how it feeds into creating a successful culture.

If you would like to engage with Stride, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Aaron Tenabel is the owner and founder of Stride Life Coaching. An ex professional swimmer and elite coach, Aaron now uses those experiences and skills to empower individuals and teams to reach their ultimate success.