From the monthly archives: April 2018

The culture of an organization represents a well-articulated set of beliefs, values, practices, attitudes and behaviors shared by all.

The culture of organizations takes time to build and to consolidate, and perhaps for this reason when we want to change it, if the culture is strong, we face a reasonable range of obstacles. A strong culture in an organization dispenses an excessive use of rules and is not based on the search for permission, otherwise it would be enough to change some rules if we wanted a meaningful change.

Because we see change at a really high speed, we easily realize that the culture of a generation, built over a certain period of time, evolves rapidly in its contours, even though the nuclear aspects remain stable.

But it is not only the speed at which the change in the environment takes place, which can jeopardize a strong culture, also, the generational and geographical diversity of the elements of a team, and even more of an organization, being a growing reality, compete for the construction of a new and richer culture.

In a space of a generation of work, it is easy to recognize the effects of social changes on the forms of production and in the needs of an organization’s employees.

So, building our own culture into a team has become a complex task, but, being consciously carried out and with respect for the differences of its elements, we have come to fruition.

There is also a factor of instability in the creation of a strong team culture, which we call the average longevity of the companies, giving rise to many episodes of short duration, for example, the low success rates of startups. Also, here arise natural phenomena of emergence of strong team cultures often nullified by the extinction of the businesses of the newborn organizations.

We also know that one of the major problems that organizations encounter in a change in company culture is the difficulty felt in building teams, that is, when change of culture implies more collaborative teamwork, resistance to change tends to increase.

So how can we facilitate the development of a team culture?

Strengthening positive attitudes. We know that bad attitudes are the fruit of experiences and events in the past, but the memories of these experiences can be reassessed giving rise to predispositions for constructive action.

In a teamwork environment, people understand, believe, and assume that planning, decisions, and actions perform better when done collaboratively.

However, for team members to achieve a true level of collaboration, and because that almost always means change, it is necessary:

– That the members of the team feel themselves respected.

– That the members of the teams have openness to make adjustments in the articulation of different values, beliefs and customs that their members incorporate.

– That people understand why the change, whether strategy or procedures. We have to want to make the change.

The only way to make changes is to act as a united team and this is much easier when you have a good leader.

– Team members should be aware that sometimes organizational change requires the transfer of resources from one area to another.

Building a team culture therefore implies an assessment of the potential of all elements of the organization to facilitate the best possible mix of existing and / or integrated resources.

As Susan Peters puts it: “We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones. In the last year we have appointed a Head of Employee Experience and we are developing a strategy to create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment our employees work in, the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, and learning to achieve their best at work. All of this is part of continuously evolving our HR capabilities.”

An assessment process allows you to understand some behavioral tendencies, needs and motivational factors, as well as skills or competencies. By assessing the strengths and weaknesses of team members, the organization is able to manage their talents and can easily manage energy, to develop team projects, with the speed and effectiveness desired.

The culture of a team grows when employees share common practices, but also when each influence the team through their unique attitudes and perceptions of the environment in which they are involved.

The culture of a team also goes through the widespread knowledge of the energy potential of that team.

The notion of team culture is especially relevant at a time when several generations coexist in teams and organizations.

Among the different and possible elements of a team there are significant differences of values, beliefs and tendencies, but there is a whole universe of common points that serve as glue in the construction of a winning team.

 

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The teams of an organization move around three distinct environments, that is, people, processes and tools.

Most of the time, people stop looking at themselves and others and care on focusing their activity on processes and their choices on tools.

It is an interesting playful activity that leads people to adopt new trends in methodologies and processes or to find the coolest tool in the digital world, but we rarely see people on social networks or sharing platforms asking how one can we “improve thinking” or how to increase team member satisfaction (in addition to some team building experiences that are not well suited to contexts).

It is true that occasionally we see someone suggest different attitudes or call attention to the need to collaborate (implies dialogue) and to revitalize communication. Revitalize not the process itself, but the attitude towards the interlocutor and other teams that depend on our work or that are part of the same organizational system of our team.

We rarely hear anyone cry out that it is important and a priority to define problems well and frame them or contextualize them before we go on to discover solutions or innovative creation (redundancy).

We rarely hear a voice say to stop choosing in the storefront, which they prepared especially for us, and start building our solutions that give a full response to our problems and needs.

It is not usual to see one or more people in a team using a medium (critical thinking) to assess and improve their ability to judge well the options that are put to them, or built, to deliberate on a particular subject (evaluating alternatives, weighing one against the other, in order to make it possible to choose between them).

It is very rare to see someone express a desire for more diversity in the teams or to wish more interdisciplinary teams to avoid the predominance of the more homogeneous teams in the basic training or in the cultural network, but which, although usually more efficient in the execution, lose quality in creative problem solving and in the development of innovative products and services.

An organization that wants to use creativity as a lever for business success must constantly be looking for people with an open mind to collaborate with representatives of the various disciplines within and outside the organization.

After all it is this ability that distinguishes multidisciplinary teams from interdisciplinary teams. In a multidisciplinary team, everyone seeks to defend their own specialty and their techniques of choice, which leads to long-term approaches and probably weak conclusions.

On the contrary, in an interdisciplinary team, there is a collective appropriation of ideas with the transparent exposition of the positive points of the different ideas and a co-responsibility in the development of actions. In addition, contact with others causes self-reflection and allows confrontation with divergent thoughts that promote the coherence of the concepts.

We all know at what speed information flows and how cunningly it can be built and outdated constantly. This speed and the way we organize the data, when we want to make decisions, naturally implies moments of high tension and, therefore, relaxing is not a solution.

The tension within the teams when different elements need to decide must be managed in a way that benefits the team and the organization as a whole.

Most of the time these decisions are puzzling and challenge the combination of uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, instability, and risk, and they also appeal to unique aspects of team experience as a cohesive group.

Often when we decide individually, we think about what will bring us the greatest benefits and eventually we are not aware of possible undesirable consequences for other people.

Thus, the best option is to work on the problem as a whole, paying attention to the diversity of factors and seeking to understand the complexity of causal relationships in the connections established in the organizational system.

 

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Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

 

In many organizations, teams are the result of a gathering of people who will try to communicate and understand each other to produce something of value. Also, organizations often expect these teams to contribute to a greater good, which is to deliver value to their customers, being that they respond by making organizations earn some money.

Most of these people have passed through a well-structured selection process that has given them the passport to pursue an activity that will develop along with other people who have a similar range of skills. They may vary in gender, age, years of previous experience or even in the native language, but almost always have the same professional qualification seal (not the same as competence) and the same functional title. Diversity of skills in teams should require special attention to recruiters from organizations.

Once people are crowded together, sometimes with significant time intervals of entry, they are expected to begin to experience the work environment and allow for a period of adaptation. In some cases, they have a follow-up of integration in the organization, but after an initial contact they no longer relate to other teams and start trying to respond only to the requests of their internal clients.

In some cases, they may also have help in facilitating the development of business processes or mentoring, but there is often a lack of help in building a cohesive team with growth potential.

This is the scenario that we can glimpse in organizations that grow rapidly or in others already with some dimension. However, it is not only in mature organizations that building teams becomes a problem. With the outbreak of startups in the various possible scenarios of economic life, this problem of building effective and efficient teams (includes ability to adapt) has become more acute.

And why is that?

Because, on the one hand, there is a need to respect and benefit from factors such as inclusion and diversity and, on the other hand, there is a shortage of talent in the face of high demand from small organizations that are now being born and growing. This, of course, means that there is a lot of people mobility and therefore it is difficult to get teams to reach maturity, autonomy and excellence.

It is neither urgent nor important to solve the problem of building effective and efficient teams. It’s imperative!

Let’s face it! There are several reasons why we do not see many start-ups in the organizational world ranging from “ignoring customer feedback to not have the right team …”. There are still causes for failure the lack of passion or harmony on the part of its members, “disagreements between the co-founders, or between the start-up team and the investors” or “losing focus” on the project that they develop.

Solving the problem of team building necessarily must go through these aspects now referred in order to involve all team members in the efforts to adapt and fill identified gaps.

Empathic and constant communication with the market and with users and / or consumers should also be one of the objectives of any team in an organization, be it a micro or a multinational giant. The satisfaction of the needs and wants or desires of customers and users / consumers is fundamental to generate value and, therefore, to ensure the survival of teams and organizations.

Making the diversity of team skills a reality is an effort that should be required of all team members. Creativity and problem solving always go hand in hand, so the greater the range of points of view, the greater the number of relevant points available to build good solutions.

So how do you build a team that walks a line of learning not only with good practice but also with mistakes and that keeps the focus on excellence as it grows?

In addition to maintaining all the good features already mentioned (focus, diversity, people-centered, etc.), it is important that all team members consciously share a sense of individual, team and organizational purpose.

“A good organizational purpose requires the pursuit of greatness in service to others.” – Bryan Walker, Design Director of IDEO

Many of us have had the opportunity to reflect on the benefit of having a sense of purpose in our life and how it is critical to our well-being. It’s not important the age at wich this happens; the important thing is that it happens.

People’s lives become more harmonious and organizations deliver better results and better performance when the purpose that supports them is born in the interior and so is real.

Finding a purpose that can be a rallying cry for your team is one of the first steps in how to create transformational change in your organization. Why does your company exist beyond making money?”

 

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