Think of a time when you were part of a Dream Team. A team in which you were all contributing at your highest levels, you were all really getting along and you colleagues were a strong reason to come to work every day. You were having fun and you felt connected not only to your team mates, but also to your tasks, projects or clients you served. Now think about what made it so? What were the underlying causal factors of this dream team? How did it all begin and what lead to its peak level?
We’re pretty sure your answers would include something like: the work was meaningful, you were encouraged to go the extra mile, to take risks without fear of punishment in case of mistakes, there was a lot of space for innovation and collaboration and you felt trusted and appreciated for your effort and commitment. But how do you actually get there?
The way to the Dream Team
Of course, besides the answers given above, there are a lot more factors that lead to a dream team. And if you take a close look at them, you realise that it’s much more about what is unseen (individual values, behaviours, beliefs, personal needs, motivations and purpose etc.), rather than what is seen (processes, procedures, rules, goals, KPIs etc.). Basically, what this means is that the secret of a dream team is that, one way or another, all team members consciously find common ground for their individual values, beliefs and motivations, effectively taking them from ME to US. And US may mean anything from team to organisation to society.
And it all starts with ME. You might be very clear on what your values and purpose are and exactly how you feel you can contribute at your best, if the team you’re in does not appreciate you for who you are and does not encourage you to be at your best, you will easily spiral downwards and become frustrated. This is a place where going from “me” to “us” becomes impossible. And you’ll probably be leaving that team very soon.
So, the way to a dream team is all about learning how to bring your whole self at work and feel encouraged to do so.
Get Connected – tools for building a Dream Team
The workbook Get Connected (bellow) is all about helping you recreate those amazing moments and experiences you felt when you were a part of a dream team, in your current one. What you will find in it is a set of conversation tools to help you reshape the way the members of team work together towards a common purpose and how each and every one of them feels empowered to bring their best and whole self at work, every day.
It is not a mechanical manual to follow and live by, but an illustration of an organic process to live through. With a set of practical processes and tools, the workbook intends to provide you with a baseline platform to experiment with and innovate from. It is a tool kit with words, not facilitation skills with senses. Play with it, trust your intuitive judgement, and discover what works or not through trial and error. Growing your team is an organic living process, which requires you to tap into the inner knowing of your team and to leverage group intelligence to co-create and co-evolve. Always stay open to learn and strive to improve with humility.
Tor Eneroth, lead author, has made the workbook available to anyone interested in building a dream team, free of charge. We would love it if you share with us experiences and stories of using the tools in Get Connected!