Teams are the most effective way to accomplish tasks, especially when several different departments, divisions or functions are involved. Often there are individual teams set up as separate isolated departmental resources that address one portion of the overall activity. When they are done, they pass it on to another separate group that works on their portion and then they pass it on to the next. This is a classic approach, but not very effective. Here are a few suggestions to consider in making your team collaborative and more effective simultaneously:
- Set up a cross-functional team; when an activity involves more than one department, discipline, division, or operating group, never have a meeting without one representative from each group. Each representative is responsible for tasks and communicating to both the team and back to their department.
- Provide clear results; the leader of the overall activity should make sure the team has a clear definition of the expected results and when they are due.
- Establish self-directed leadership; let the team decide who, from within the team is the point person that will work WITH the team to set the strategy, tactics and execution approach. The team leader can track the detail activities, results and approach to the overall activity. The overall activity leader would then interact with this team leader on updates and results periodically. Team members that hold each other accountable for their responsibilities are more effective than a single team manager or leader.
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