The success of any firm relies on the performance of the leaders and the employees. However, due to the failure of teamwork in most institutions, the leaders have ended up satisfying their personal interests instead of focusing on the long-term goals of the organization. Most organizations have tried finding solutions to these leadership problems without the success they crave (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). Maybe training the leaders is not a final answer. They should take a fresh approach on how the work is conducted. This could be creating a team of leaders where everyone has a leadership role, and there is no manager. Ideally, a powerful and productive team can be described as one where all the members step-up to perform all the leadership roles in the organization (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). It is a team where there is constant sharing of information, knowledge, and aims at long-term planning to produce outstanding performance.
In the opinion of Gustafson and Liff (2014), many techniques and principles exist that ensure the development of an effective team of leaders. These principles include the five-level team development model. The idea behind this is that most organizations have the traditional top-down and manager-to-employee work structure (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). They have struggled with the inherent nature of this design. Both the managers and the employees have had their perspectives such that from the manager’s point of view, there is pressure to perform, frequent demands on time, employees’ problems to solve, as well as unions to handle.
Additionally, they are required to make all the major decisions in the organization. On the contrary, for the employees, there are stringent performance demands, and they are expected to do what they are told. They also have little autonomy and authority devoid of room to be creative. Ideally, their satisfaction mainly depends on supervisors. This has discouraged most of the workers from the activities in the organization. However, the five-level team development model, maps the transition from traditional teams to self-directed teams in an organization. The first stage of this model involves decision made by the supervisor or the team leader. There is a lot of transition during this period, and the team requires intensive support (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). The team leader must also be strong and involved in the transition to give clarifications on various uncertainties. The team leaders or supervisor must also handle issues that cannot be handled by the team.
The second stage of the model involves the formulation of goals and objectives of the organization. The team must be on the same page. The team leader should guide and direct the team in various steps. In the next step, the team takes a clear direction and focuses on the goals of the organization. In the second last stage, the team starts to take specific roles in the organization with minimal supervision. The level of their engagement increases as the team focuses on achieving some of the goals (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). The leader of a group serves as a mentor to the other members. Lastly, all the members carry out the leadership role in the organization. There is adequate sharing of knowledge and information in the organization as the team pushes the organization to another level.
The second technique is the best practices within team process design. The development of the team depends on the process design laid down by the team. This lays out what and how their processes can be done to achieve the goals of the team as well as those of the organization. The team leader or supervisor must ensure that they adopt some of the designs with the best team practices. This can enable them to grow and develop. A group value formation tool represents another important technique that can allow all the members to appreciate their significance in the organization (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). As much as the team consists of leaders, some of them might not appreciate their significance in the group. The value creation model can enable each of them to appreciate and realize their importance in the development of the leadership team. This fresh approach transforms all the passive groups of disparate people in an organization into effective teams of leaders.
The productivity of the team can also be enhanced by setting personal as well as team goals. Setting explicit operational objectives enable each team member understand what is anticipated. When such objectives are communicated as well as measurable, team members can fathom exactly what is significant versus what is insignificant. When stretch though attainable objectives are set, team members are less probably to be complacent (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). Additionally, prioritization for resource allocation that is impactful can make the team productive. Setting explicit priorities assists to guarantee that resources as well as time are assigned to the most significant or impactful duties. The team should be informed of low as well as high priority processes, objectives, customers, or tasks. The processes should be designed to guarantee that resources or time is assigned exclusively to high demanding tasks. The productivity of the team can also be boosted by effective rewards. Whenever financial rewards are linked to performance as well as metrics of each objective, the message on what is significant is doubly reinforced. The team as well as individual financial rewards, added to non-financial excitement factors, may guarantee concentration as well as high productivity (Gustavson & Liff, 2014).
Apart from the techniques, the development of an effective leadership team involves some systems in the organization, which carry out different roles. These include the safety system that focuses on the safety of the leadership team. This system always concentrates on any insecurity that the organization and the leadership team may face during its development. The team also requires quality and inventory management system. These can ensure that the organization offers value and quality services to the public (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). It also ensures that the leadership team avails quality service to the organization. Lastly, the team requires financial and team performance management system. It ensures that the team focuses on the financial growth and wealth accumulation in the organization. It also focuses on managing the team.
Gustafson and Liff (2014), conclude that three tools must also be present for the development of the leadership team. These include the team development model. They explain that the most effective model that can be adopted by a team is the five-step team development model. It offers the team a direction and plan on how to carry out their activities during development. Team communication is another important tool during the team’s growth (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). As much as there is a team leader, all the other team members have the right to air out their views regarding various issues. There must also be clear communication channels between the team members and their supervisor or leader. Lastly, team start-up is critical. The team members must have the required start-up energy that can drive the operations of the organizations for many years (Gustavson & Liff, 2014).
However, Gustafson and Liff (2014), point out three main factors that are likely to affect the team development model. These include maturity of the team members. This can determine the level of agreements and the nature of decisions made by the team. The lesser mature the team members are, the higher the chance of disagreements in the organizations, which interferes with the growth model of the team. Secondly, complexity is another key factor to be considered during the development of the team.
Organizations that are more complex become challenging to handle regarding problems and decision-making. Developing a leadership team in such an organization may also become difficult. The team must first ensure that any formalities, procedures, or regulations that render the organization complex are relaxed. This ensures that the institution has a simple structure where problems can be identified, and solutions sought easily (Gustavson & Liff, 2014).
Lastly, knowledge is critical during the development of any team in an organization. The team members must ensure that they have the relevant and adequate knowledge regarding the organization, rules, and procedures that control its operations. Once the knowledge is acquired, it should be shared among the team members to ensure that everyone knows what is expected. Without knowledge, there can be no development of the team.
In conclusion, based on the argument of Gustafson and Liff (2014), the five-stage team development model can be pursued by most organizations to effectively develop their leadership teams. Following the five steps can lead to a powerful and properly performing team in an organization (Gustavson & Liff, 2014). The team must also incorporate other techniques such as the best practices within team process design as well as the team value formation tool. Additionally, the team must consider other important systems during their development, which include the security system, quality management system, and the team management system. However, developing teams must also be aware of the challenges they are likely to face during their development such as complexity, inadequate knowledge, and lack of maturity of the team members. In the opinion of Gustafson and Liff (2014), a team that applies these techniques incorporates the required systems and focuses on the various challenges that affect its development; besides, is likely to be powerful and productive.
Gustavson, P. & Liff, S. (2014). A team of Leaders Empowering Every Member to take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results. New York: American Management Association.