Monday, June 8, 2009

Alignment in Teams

Pat MacMillan in "The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork" calls the creation of alignment one of the most important roles in leadership. Alignment is not something that comes from a mandate or a passionate plea. It is the degree to which an individual's goal and direction matches that of their team or organization. Each member of the team must work through these issues if alignment is going to occur, although each may have different motivations. MacMillan presents five elements of a team purpose that promote alignment.
1. Clear (I see it) - benefits of team effort clear and understandable to all
2. Relevant (I want it) - team goals must matter to the needs/goals of the members
3. Significant (It's worth it) - objectives must be important enough to be worth effort
4. Achievable (I believe it) - individual team members must believe mission is possible 
5. Urgent (I want it, ... now!) - goal must be urgent enough to do something... now

Alignment presupposes that the purpose of a team is clear. If you're a leader, how clear is the mission of your team? How well is each team member aligned with that purpose? If "not very", which element do you need to address to help your team members find alignment, so you can actually make a difference?

No comments: