Team Resilience – the ‘Robust’ Team

Team Resilience at Work – the Robust Team

It’s a story many of us know but it’s a good one.  During a visit to the NASA Space Centre in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”

“Well, Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

It is an unexpected and memorable reply!  What the janitor’s answer demonstrated was a deep-rooted sense of shared team purpose.

What makes a ‘robust’ team? 

A robust team is aligned in their purpose and goals as well as being quick to adapt to change and work through setbacks.

What can you do to strengthen your team to be ‘robust’?

In leading your team, key things to observe to see how well the team:

  1. Understand the ‘why’ of their work.  Do they know both where their personal and team role directly helps the wider organisation?  How well do they link their team contribution to the success and impact of the whole organisation?  Knowing how their value, input and achievements as a team in this wider context helps team resilience.
  2. Know exactly why their team was created, who they serve and are accountable to.
  3. Work to shared values and mission. Do the team’s values actually influence how they communicate, make decisions and behaviours?  How are values shared and communicated within the team?  If you are leading the team, how are you living and modelling team values?
  4. Connect and work on shared goals. How are different team members’ effort, performance and time allocation on shared goals?  Are members of the team carrying others?  Is there accountability for delivering built in across the team?
  5. Are able to deliver on their purpose with the necessary skills and knowledge. A team’s capabilities and talent need to flex to meet shifting demands.
  6. Navigate team ‘skeletons’.  What elephants are in the team room which might stop the team from aligning and delivering on its purpose and goals? Resolving issues is not solely a team leader’s problem.  Promote where possible joint responsibility for resolving team issues.

In short, robust teams have solid intention with agility.  How would you rate this in yours?  In our next blog we will be unpacking the next vital team resilience factor resourcefulness!

To learn more to help your team…

For additional information on how team resilience workshops, resilience assessment and coaching could work for your team, click here.

Source: Leading for Resilience Workbook, Kathryn McEwen, Working with Resilience

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