A cohesive management team is the most important ingredient to your company’s success. The management team needs to function as a team to maximize their accomplishments. To quote an over used phrase, teamwork is really key to an effective management team. This sounds like a simple concept but it is more complicated than you might think. It just isn’t a natural act for people to come together and immediately become effective by addressing common objectives, common issues and common problems.
A management team can often become overwhelmed by day to day events which effectively prohibit strategic thinking. Thinking outside the box becomes difficult because they are too busy trying to control what’s going on inside the box. The sharing of common visions and long term goals becomes extremely difficult.
Individual personalities, values and personal goals often become roadblocks to functioning well as a team. Getting your management team to focus on common strategic goals is not easy but it is absolutely essential if you are going to maintain competitive advantage and get things done.
Five tips to get your management team to function as a unit.
1. Take complex plans and strategies and assign accountability and ownership. This creates more efficiency and leverages creativity. Assign responsibility according to individual passions.
2. Brainstorming must be encouraged to release team innovation. Bouncing ideas off one another stimulates creative thinking which leads to creative solutions. This in itself bonds individuals into a common purpose.
3. Ask for solutions assigning both responsibility and empowerment. Ownership of ideas and initiatives builds commitment. Involving the team in creating direction and solutions through empowerment generates commitment to the tasks necessary to meet objectives.
4. Challenge your management team. Reliance on team effectiveness minimizes risk by being more flexible and adaptive than relying on a single individual. No one individual alone can jeopardize success. The loss of one team member can be overcome without losing sight of the objectives.
5. Create a “Night of the Long Knives
o The “Night of the Long Knives” is a terminology used when the Elephant is too big to eat and you have to chop it up into pieces.
o It is the coming together of a competent team to address common issues & challenges that need to be resolved in the best interest of the entire group
Document current and future challenges, projects, initiatives and issues. Ask your management team to review them, add their thoughts and comment on any issues that may have been overlooked. Lastly, ask them to prioritize the list based on the impact to the success of the organization over the next twelve to eighteen months. Arrange for a two day “Night of the Long Knives” workshop utilizing the following agenda.
Defining the hurdles to both short term and long term success
Identification of critical constraints
Scenario planning and brain storming
Action planning both short and long term (12 months)
Presentation for call to action and resources required