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Barriers to Team Success

June 8, 2017


The way teams form and operate is no longer traditional or linear and old ways of being a team are no longer always relevant. The days of having a “3 – 5 year unchanging strategy” are over.


Teams now have to:

  • Be dynamic and able to pivot quickly and decisively.

  • Form quickly and sometimes disband just as quickly.

  • Achieve clarity efficiently, live with ambiguity .

  • Focus on the current work as well as future work

  • Find time and ways to connect and work together to achieve their outcomes.

No one has really been taught to be this type of team.


In my view there are two major barriers  for teams to be successful .


Barrier One: Lack of Clarity


Teams must have clarity on their Vision, Purpose, Goals and Priorities. They need clarity on how their work impacts the organisational strategy.


Some ambiguity always exists however too often teams mistake their assumptions for ambiguity. Great teams consistently quest for clarity.


They ask themselves;

  • Who is this work for? Who are our primary beneficiaries?

  • What are the specific roles team members do to get the work done?

  • What are the contributions each member can make to the Performance of the Team?

  • Are the structures and processes relevant, clear, simple and easy to use?

  • Are the Norms of this team explicit and regularly checked?

Taking the time to gain clarity is essential to team success


Barrier Two - Ignoring Connection


With advanced technology, flexible working arrangements, speed of work and geographically dispersed teams, disconnection in teams can occur very quickly. When teams don’t connect they often start to look like federated silos of individuals who only come together occasionally under the guise of a “meeting”.


Connection is so much more than coming together in a meeting environment. It’s...

  • Clear communication

  • Knowledge sharing

  • Collaboration

  • Genuine care and peer coaching

Connection is about having quality conversations that promote optimal functioning.


So let me ask you... Are you clear on how and when you connect as a team? Are you trading off team connection for budget and time savings? Are you deliberate in the way you maintain the relationships across your team?


Connection takes time and planning and a small budget!


Gram Consulting Group offers; keynote talks on teams, we facilitate teams and we coach teamsLet us know if you would like our help.



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