The Heart of Teams

Today’s Teamwork Explorer Tip is the Ace of Hearts, Develop a Shared Vision. (Need to know more about our approach to teamwork? See our Teamwork Explorer blog post.)

Develop a Shared Vision

I just spent the last week interviewing members of an executive team in preparation for some teamwork we will be doing with them. I was struck by their commitment to the work of the organization, but when I asked them to describe the culture of the team, I got things like collegial, professional, committed, predictable, cordial, conservative and well scripted.  Reflecting upon the teams I am a part of,  I was thinking … but what about the heart of your team? What are people passionate about, what gives them meaning and purpose?  I contrasted that with a podcast I was listening to by Chester Elton of Orange Revolution whose extensive research uncovered that great teams have a noble cause beyond just getting the job done, whatever job that might be. And that to me is the very essence and heart of a team … what noble cause or vision are they committed to?

So, thanks to Chester, I would change point #5 below to read “What noble cause would we commit ourselves to?”

Ace of Hearts – Develop a Shared Vision

There is no one right way to develop a shared vision but sometimes approaching it indirectly can be easier for people. Have each member of your team answer the following questions. Once everyone has identified their responses, have a team discussion and see what emerges as a result. This can lead to a vision statement in a more concrete way than just asking people to describe their vision.

Think back to a great team experience.

  1. Describe that experience.
  2. What was it about that experience that was so positive?
  3. How did it differ from other team experiences?
  4. How can this team create that kind of experience?
  5. What would we commit ourselves to?
  6. What values would we demonstrate?

What have been your experiences with teams and developing a shared vision? What are your noble causes?

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