Effective Leadership Team Development
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
What does it take for leaders to build an effective team? The focus of leadership team development must be on making an impact on real life team challenges and opportunities to deliver real and significant results. It is particularly useful to focus on working with such challenges and opportunities when results are critical. At such times existing behaviours, attitudes, emotions and relationships need to change to create the right conditions to achieve the required performance. The team more readily accepts that at critical times there are imperatives for a change in business, team and personal development.
In our view, leadership team development should mirror the way senior executives work together. This ensures relevance, efficiency and efficacy. Many behavioural team-improvement efforts fail because they do not address the specific needs of top managers. Programmed exercises, role plays or experiential learning, for instance, can seem artificial and are seldom effective.
The opportunity for significant changes in leadership team effectiveness is created when the team can see immediate business benefits in the work. Activities most likely to foster team action and reflection include developing strategy, performance management, stakeholder management and reviewing top talent. These are critical issues for the team, regardless of whether its members are consciously attempting to improve their own performance and develop as a team. Importantly, too, these are team outcomes rather than individual ones. They require effective interaction to be truly successful. Tie the business outcomes closely to the leadership team development and the likelihood of success in both areas is considerably enhanced.
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