One of the most compelling ideas in the book is the concept of team work. The example used in the book is a basketball team. If you have a really good player but he does not care if the team wins or loses but how many points he makes, he really is not helping the team. I understood the concept in the team sport where the measurement of success of the team is easy to measure. Moving the idea into business teams, the key really is to create agreement on the meaning of winning and how to keep a team score as opposed to individual scores.
In the last blog I talked about the challenge of the consulting firm we formed many years ago. We were all practicing consultants and measured our individual revenue and sales contribution. The difficulty was measuring the success as a team. We certainly evaluated each partner on their own performance and did that well I believe. However I am not sure we worked well on the common goal. The difficulty was we did not have that clear measure of the team score. Particularly in consulting organizations and many professional firms, the firm is a collection of individuals who are highly skilled and working on their own practice. The senior people often have juniors working with them but rarely do the partners work together on anything but overall management issues.
We had a code word for our problem and we called it "overall management." Based on the above analysis. we were not far from the mark. From the book, we had a problem with "team 1."
I am now wondering what we could have done differently. I wonder if the partners were evaluated more on the overall performance of the firm and less on the individual performance, would we have performed more like a team? Each one of the partners was more focused on their team and not on the success of the "team one." I think the partners were committed to the success of the firm in their own way but did not know how to solve the "team one" issue.
How many times in a team effort we focus on the shortcoming of one member rather than treating it as a team problem?
Applying the idea from the book are really a challenge, I will continue to ponder these issues and write more later. I welcome any comments or thoughts.