Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Principles for every day

In a prior blog, I talked about my seven top values to manage by. Values are what we believe in but they don't necessarily point toward action. For action, we need principles. Principles, the way I define them, are the actionable response to values.  Here is my to ten for everyday working success.  The emphasis is on teams and teamwork, but these principles can stretch further.

Teams are the structure of choice to execute complex interdisciplinary projects
Multifunctional teams accept and embrace complexity, disorder, and uncertainty more effectively than individuals working alone because of the mutual support for problem solving and the opportunity for group creativity

No team will be chartered without a compelling purpose and mission
A compelling mission is the most effective motivator for cohesion and commitment to results.

Communication and collaboration will be frequent and without reticence
Teams are only better than groups of individuals when teammates achieve synergy.

Teams will be made small, but encouraged to network for scale
Larger teams require internal structures and authority figures to manage the scale.
Small teams can have the effect of large teams by networking and committing to joint objectives.

Team assignments will be made presuming commitment and accountability
Assignments only made on the basis of position and availability are discouraged
Assignments focus on completing the compliment of technical, functional, and decision-making skills

Time and activities to promote trust will be planned into the project time line. Strangers do not trust. Virtual teams need more time and specific opportunity to overcome factors unique to the displacement of team members

A safe working environment will be provided
Safety is the first step to trust. A role as nemesis will be accepted

Team members will be encouraged to listen actively, give the benefit of the doubt, respond constructively, and acknowledge achievements of others
The 'golden rule' of team behavior

Team results and measurements will be evaluated for collective achievement. Individuals are valued for their skill and ingenuity. Collective achievement is valued for its best value fit to customer expectation

Self-organized teams will be granted a measure of autonomy
Leadership comes from within the team. Processes conform to the conventions of the enterprise to ensure that all assertions and claims to certifying bodies are valid

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