The characteristics of great teams, as viewed from the top

Mike Nash
Mike Nash
October 4, 2022
The characteristics of great teams, as viewed from the top

Trelliswork is for building great teams. Our approach is to build tools for the team, its manager, and the team members themselves. The goal is to create an environment in which a team can have more control, autonomy, and the conditions necessary for greater productivity, engagement, continuous alignment, and retention.

So, when this is all baked into the company’s operations, what does the C-Suite see? What is the all-important executive dashboard for team engagement and alignment? How are the results understood and measured?

There is no shortage of examples these days of leaders interpreting these concepts the wrong way. As we’ve said before, building a strong, resilient organization isn’t a math problem. An employee might be at their computer working at all hours, but they might be working on the wrong thing. An employee might be consistently completing tasks, but doing so in the least engaged, least creative way possible. Your best team member might be present and contributing at all virtual meetings, and might also be planning to put in their notice tomorrow.

Dashboards are only valuable if they measure what matters. And that’s exactly what we’re in the business of at Trelliswork.

In the idealized scenario, team members understand, contribute and align to what the team (and organization) is doing. Team members are empowered and given the opportunity to build the identity and rhythm of the team itself. They are all continuously developing their overall purpose and identity. They have a collaborative environment where they come together to flourish and succeed. Roles and responsibilities are defined, refined and transparent. And clear about how they fit into the larger organization. And also every team designs and runs rituals or meetings that are unique and meaningful to the team itself.

So, what are the measurables?

We believe that every team should have a Charter to clearly define the team’s purpose, processes and priorities. There should be confirmation that everyone understands these things and each individual see’s their value reflected. There are nuances to working rhythms, meetings and rituals that exist beyond a meeting invite, which benefit from a collective home. Goals with clear definition and are reviewed regularly are more likely to be achieved. Teams should also have a place where important resources can be quickly and easily accessed. When somebody new joins the team, there should be clarity around resources and what it looks like to be a high-performer. Of course all these things will evolve, but these are the types of things that can be measured and displayed in the dashboard.

So these are all measurable things that executives should expect to understand as leaders of healthy, resilient, productive organizations. And that’s all on top of one very important fact - even at the highest levels in an organization, you’re still part of a team. Even a CEO needs to ensure their executive team is operating in a healthy and aligned way. When viewed from a higher perspective, it's about knowing your organization's teams are flourishing, as well as becoming a better leader of your own.

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