Marcelino Sánchez added this comment to my blog posting last week on “Keys to Building a Strong Team or Organizational Culture:”
“My thoughts on building a productive team culture (subculture). For a team to do what it needs to do in a way that they like to do it and be effective, they have to develop certain norms of behavior. Norms of behavior are a function of many things but three critical factors are:
1. Leadership – how the team leader leads and interacts with others (in the team).
2. Values/beliefs held by the team – most teams have ground rules but they rarely make a difference because they are task oriented (be on time, don’t interrupt, etc.) and only written on a flipchart page. Mutually espoused values and beliefs have to be written on individuals’ minds and hearts.
3. Consequences – a well defined accountability process is necessary to reinforce desired behaviors and attitudes.
There is more to it than this obviously but in my experience these three elements are critical to an effective team culture.”
Marcelino’s comments come from his experience with Fortune 500 companies undergoing large scale change. You can get more of his background at http://www.smartchangesolutions.com/TheCompany.htm. You can also read my original posting on “Keys to Building a Strong Team or Organizational Culture” at here (it includes a link to a 10 minute video clip on this issue.)
I agree with all three of Marcelino’s critical factors. I especially agree with point #2 around values. Many teams don’t even have ground rules to guide their meeting and other team behaviors. Those that do, often don’t ground them in deeper organizational or team values. Strong and high performing teams do this exceptionally well.
When I wrote Pathways to Performance: A Guide to Transforming Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization I put together a team effectiveness checklist. You can read that here. There are lots more of my articles on team building here, building team vision, values, and purpose here, and building team spirit here.