Strong, high-performing teams are the new superstars driving companies forward. Creating such teams is a cultural change many European organisations will need to focus on to unlock their full potential and help their businesses grow.
With agile working becoming increasingly popular, teams are becoming the strong cells organisations rely on. Agile teams are multifunctional, interconnected teams — individuals with diverse working skills, combining business and IT knowledge — where the work gets more evenly distributed amongst members. Working in an agile manner helps strengthen the collaboration between team members and gives teams greater power to make key decisions in the area they act in. The outcome is praised as a team effort — not the work of a single superstar.
So, how do you create such high-performing teams? Creating effective teams in companies can largely be compared to building high-performing sports teams. You cannot get a winning team if you ignore the rules and prerequisites to win the game. First, you’ll need to make sure the basic needs specified in Maslow’s pyramid are fulfilled. Then, your team needs to have a clear mission and goals, and will need to train hard to perform well.
The team will need the right equipment for training and building team knowledge. Hackathons, for instance, are a good way to learn new skills quickly, and they create a good basis for more in-depth, just-in-time learning. Why is this important? If team members feel they do not have the right equipment, tools and opportunities to learn new skills to accomplish a given task, they might become demotivated and start to leave the team and company.
Once you have the basics set up, you focus on strategy. The team must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team members to define a strong strategy for team improvements. Then they divide the tasks according to their strengths to ensure excellent performance and results.
Business leaders who focus just on the use of the newest technologies as the basis for innovation can quickly find themselves on a long technology journey without any results. Organisations need to tackle integrating new technology trends and ways of working, such as agile, as a cultural change. It’s important to include people from diverse backgrounds, with different interests and skills. That means getting the right mix of “mavericks” and “enforcers” on a team.
Mavericks are team members who are innovative and interested in changing things. They enjoy experimenting with new technologies and concepts. The enforcers, on the other hand, are focused more on following a plan and are therefore better at ensuring the delivery of working solutions that improve the business.
Finally, to do their best, the team members must support each other at every step of the way. Once you have built a team that has mutual trust, strong bonds, and clear goals and missions, make sure you empower them to make key decisions leading to a strong solution that will win the end user’s hearts and minds.
As Dan Hushon, DXC Technology’s chief technology officer says, people learn from each other in teams, which create a multiplier effect that allows employees to advance more quickly. Ultimately, building better teams will build better individuals and enterprises.
Curious to learn about which trends will drive organisations in 2020 and how these trends will change the way European organisations work? DXC’s European CTOs share their views on the course European organisations need to follow in 2020.