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The process of team building is riddled with challenges; disagreements are common and finding the right solution is not always easy.

However, if the following issues are addressed, then a successful team can be created, which can be an incredible asset to the organisation:

  • Leadership. A successful team needs a strong leader otherwise it will lack direction and be ineffective.
  • Vision. The organisation must clearly communicate the team’s responsibilities and expectations. For a team to succeed, members need to have a clear idea of where they are going and how to get there.
  • Policies. A team should have the flexibility to circumvent policies and procedures when needed; counterproductive policies and procedures can hinder a team’s potential.
  • Team roles. These should be clearly defined, otherwise team members will find it difficult to perform. Team members should know what is expected of them.
  • Trust. Team members should be able to trust each other; trust issues should be discussed and resolved.

Addressing these issues is the first step towards building an effective and successful team. After that, remember the acronym ‘DARE’…

Discover. Does the management support a team? Are there support structures to assist it? Are members able and willing to be on the team? Find out.

Arrange to help people transition into teams. This includes defining the team’s functions, communicating its vision, assigning roles and responsibilities, identifying tasks that need reassigning, providing resources to help the team and training members for their new responsibilities.

Roll out. This includes developing team guidelines, additional training, document management, problem-solving, establishing incentives and feedback mechanisms, as well as defining the role of management.

Evolve the team as its requirements change by introducing improved systems and revised plans. This includes assessing team progress.

Remember, developing a strong team takes work; the key is to recognise the potential obstacles and take the necessary steps to overcome them. Remember, you can do it if you DARE!

– S Ali Anis

The writer is a lead consultant and trainer at Change 180. info@thechange180.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 19, 2012.