Companies have the ability to grow more and more rapidly. We have technology startups which require employees to move quickly, need them to perform and work in an ever changing environment. We want high performing teams rapidly. The Covid crisis has shown how quickly we need to make decisions. A paper in the British Medical Journal here showed that chaotic decision making and failure to communicate information from the scientists during the crisis undermined the government response. This had a huge effect on the expected outcomes.
Here are 4 essential ways a leader can ensure a fast growing team survives and thrives during a growth period.
Communicate any changes to the team structure which will affect the team members thoroughly. This allows time for the changes to be absorbed and understood by the team members, especially change at leadership level. It allows questions to be asked and any objections/ issues to be addressed and overcome quickly and effectively.
Understand the team’s surrounding systems
By systems we mean any external person or team which affects the team OR the team has an effect on. For example, the compliance team may have an interaction and affects the product team. The finance team may have an effect on the product team. How might one change in the team have an effect on other systems? Mapping out the systems which influence or affect each other may show that as the team rapidly grows there may be other areas which need to accommodate this. You may need to communicate change or other messages thoroughly with these other systems both ways.
Define roles, but allow for innovation
Does the team know what their goal is AND do all the people in the team know what they should be doing? If not how are they supposed to reach this goal and outcome? Roles need some definitions and expectations need to be set. However, this should also allow for some innovation. The individuals and teams may have some strengths outside of their usual role. This needs to be noticed, embraced and nurtured. There is a growing trend for companies to allow an innovation afternoon once a month where people are allowed to work on their own project to come up with new and creative ideas.
Do the people and the team know the outcome you and the company requires? If not how are they supposed to achieve it? One of the most common reasons for team failure within projects is because of poorly defined scope. Expectations are not set and there are many assumptions made on both sides. Ensuring that you give an expectation ensures effective movement towards the desired outcome.
All of the above can help fast growing teams and the people within them develop and accelerate with confidence, psychological safety and happiness. Allowing them to perform at their optimum with clarity and creates the high performing team of the company and it’s employees dreams!
Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of recruitersgiveback.org a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. www.successCL.com www.recruitersgiveback.org