“Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
My favorite part of that is the last sentence. To me it means that the value of the accomplishment will be greater than the sum of it’s parts.
It means more than just “two heads are better than one.” It means: 2 heads are better than 2. This concept is commonly known as “synergy”.
We are constantly finding examples of remarkable beauty in nature that cannot exist by the works of only one organism.
Everything in the universe, shows that forces attract to release energy into new forms that create more attraction.
This is the perspective to take when creating a future as a team.
This direction, is what allows us to transcend our personal objectives to become parts of a greater whole. It is what allows “common people to achieve unattainable results”.
The initial step is Visioning –
- A vision is what allows people to settle for temporary discomfort, by striving for a greater future.
- Teams create or follow and add to a creative vision, by giving and accepting permission to become themselves while contributing ideas to the possible future.This allows the group to emotionalize their dreams and get excited about the possibility of them becoming a reality.
- By supporting each others positive views, any handful of people can lay down the framework for a massive vision that will fuel their ability to overcome any adversity they may face.
- The teams sense of unity begins to grow, and they become protective over the allowing or creation of circumstances that may destroy their dream.It is this new group’s “Faith” that allows teams to successfully plan and achieve their goals.
The next series of steps, all consist of the group’s ability to become flexible, with reality, while staying in tuned with the vision:
The next step is Brainstorming –
- This allows the group to lay all the cards on the table, there should never be any effort towards criticism during a brainstorming session.The goal is to create a flow of elements that can be put together as a map of the current situation.
- This allows the team to make decisions about direction, path correction, or the creation of new avenues to head down.
- Sessions should include: 1)conversations about current conflicts 2) ideas for direction 3 ) creation of policy to eliminate the need to make decisions at every turn.Every one’s voice needs to be heard.
- The understanding that every-one’s common purpose is the attainment and protection of the vision, should serve as a buffer to allow points of view to come together into plans of action.
The following step is Developing Goals –
- This is the act of taking those bits and pieces back off of the table, and assembling them into a static focus of what needs to be changed or created.
- Goals will always be a means to help the vision become “alive”, and will give birth to the ways that the team will live today.
- While striving towards the “Vision”, goals allow us to see the things in our lives that are getting in the way.
- Goals can be thought of as sculptures that are in the teams mansion. That is the Vision. A sculpture is created by taking away it’s medium, until nothing is left but the purest form of the expression intended. In this same way, you can reach your goals by eliminating distractions that keep you from sculpting a work of art from the medium that is your life.
Another important step is Planning –
“I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Planning is the act of defining a path towards your goal to get to the Vision (“and the green grass grows…”), this way we can see when we are off track and thus, before you start planning, you know that you will, and must, wonder off the path a little.
- Planning is what the sculptor does when he envisions a swipe of his knife, he will always have to make touch ups after cutting off the brunt of material, but no one can sculpt a face in one slice. It takes steps.
- When working with a team, steps are derived from the top down. The goal is broken into smaller parts until everyone can take a little bite.
- The wonder of the team is that each person can hold elements of the plan in their minds and provide perfect timing for their part as the plan comes together.
- The refinement of a plan, and the ability to make synergistic connections, is what makes a team more beneficial than just one.
The final step is The Action Reviews- –
- The action reviews are what allow the group to crystallize the benefits of their mistakes. They can become more efficient by “reviewing” the plan and how they fared against the goal they had in mind.
- It is this act that serves to fertilise the growth of the vision, and creation of more effective goals and plans.
- Reviewing is, in-effect, the same as visioning and will bring us full circle to repeat the cycle. This critical component is another way to “take away” from the distractions that keep us from the vision, and will allow us to see it more clearly.
- A team can improve the effectiveness of their reviews by maintaining an open mind and by giving each other permission to be as critical as possible about the matters at hand.
It is important to allow the cycle to become as “organic” as possible yet, still allow for infrastructure to keep it going when things get rough (and they will). There are many phases that I haven’t described and many bleed into others, but by grasping the principals outlined above, you can adapt the process to work perfectly for your team.
This vision statement was prepared by Chris Stubbs
Thank you Chris on behalf of all The THEE QUEST TEAM.