Agile thinking, agile methods, agile processes, working from agile roadmaps – what is agile all about and what does an agile team need for success?
Agile, the ability to move quickly and easily, might be the current buzzword on GM street but in software development circles agile teams and methods are familiar concepts for achieving peak performance.
Here’s what I know about high performing agile teams: Their focus is more on Team Intelligence™ than agile.
Team Intelligence™ or TeamQ™ as we like to call it, is all about teams working together intelligently to achieve better results, reduce individual stress and create a success culture that galvanises customer loyalty.
It’s where teams build collaborative relationships, communicate openly, and identify strategies for moving forward, quickly and easily, as a cohesive unit to full potential.
The backbone of TeamQ™ is communication. Communication that is honest, authentic and safe, person to person not position to position. Communication that allows time for learning who your team members are, what drives them and what they are doing for the organisation. Communication, the thing that we do all the time, every day – our freely available superpower.
Getting your team to tap into their TeamQ™ and draw out each other’s knowledge will enhance their agility and ability to think outside the box. As will allowing the space to fail. Failure is a perfect human trait and a vital part of the process for success in innovation.
When we allow ourselves the space to fail freely, we lose or at least lessen our fear of failure – one of the biggest roadblocks to success. Equally, when we give others the space to fail (and learn from it), the opportunity for innovation is created.
Give people a chance to be innovative. Each person on your team will have a unique view and understanding of your business. They will also have a unique perspective on how to approach a problem. Ask for the opinions and ideas of everyone in your team, and if you can, ask them in the presence of each other. Get them understanding each other’s unique perspective.
Change, whether at work or home, whether perceived as positive or negative, generally requires us to adapt either in the way we think or the way we do. For success in building your agile team, it is important to acknowledge the level of discomfort change can bring because it is only when we understand the overall impact that we can effectively facilitate transition. This is where the power of Team Intelligence™ comes into play so well.
If a company was to embrace change, to encourage it like it was part of a normal working day, there is an opportunity to view it as a way to move forward.
Like Team Intelligence, building trust is a fundamental element to a team or organisation’s success. One of the best ways to generate trust with your team is to demonstrate it. Show your confidence in them. Allow people to be the expert they are. Listen with respect to their unique knowledge and insights. You never know they might just have the answer to making your workplace environment more agile.
Teams who can see each other’s unique perspective, talents and values, have better working relationships, are be able to solve problems more effectively and work better toward the organisational goals.
A healthy culture of feedback is like rocket fuel for breakthroughs in growth and development. Unfortunately, feedback is often seen as a threat like something is wrong. When a team is working in an environment where feedback is given regularly, however, they won’t see it as a threat but rather, a chat about how things are going. Set up the right environment for casual, non-confrontational feedback. Buy a coffee, ask questions, listen for what is really happening and remove any sense of judgment. Remember to demonstrate your trust, person to person, and you might even get to know each other a little better.
Defining the right core values for your business is one of the best ways to bring your team together and keep them on track. If you haven’t yet defined your guiding principles, that’s okay. Take your time, ask questions and use the invaluable team intelligence around you to pull them together and enjoy the journey.
Teams are made up of people and people are humans. If you want your team to be more agile productive or innovative, get to know them, get them to know each other, and maximise on Team Intelligence™.