Unfortunately, many of the HR leaders I work with say no.
Despite the time and dollars spent on executive team building activities, programs, coaches, etc., #HR teams rarely function as a high performing group with a common shared purpose, group performance goals and mutual accountability. They’re more likely to operate independently as strong individual contributors. And that’s not always bad.
But given the pace of change, power of technology, generational differences and rising employee expectations, HR leaders now more than ever need increased management capacity to respond to these disruptions. Otherwise they’ll fall behind, become marginalized or worse.
They realize that getting their reports to function more as an integrated high performing team could reap significant returns. This doesn’t apply just for executive teams but to any leader at any level who needs high performance team work to achieve their goals.
Unfortunately creating effective teams is not easy – many situations do not require team effort, performance goals are less tangible, team work take more time & effort and a clear and compelling purpose is not always apparent.
So how do you when you need more leadership capacity? By taking an honest assessment of how you responded to the biggest challenges you’ve faced.
Like a recent client who lamented to us how she failed to anticipate harassment issues in her organization. Not only did she fail to see the signs but failed to respond in the most effective way. The crisis resulted in more finger pointing then problem solving.
Another big one is your HR transformation project. How did it go? Was it successful? Failed like 70% often do? Would a more effective leadership team have made a difference?
What other dangers are lurking in your organization? You may plan for many of them, but you’ll get dinged for the ones you miss. And get fired for the ones you don’t effectively respond to.
Instead of waiting for a problem and working like crazy to fix it, we recommend building the capacity, capability and agility of your team to respond before there’s a need.
The process of working together to achieve a common set of goals with group accountability and performance targets is a great way to increase the performance of your team. The key is to identify challenging group opportunities that they could work through to completion. Recognize situations that call for team discipline and those that require individual leadership. Some exercises we’ve seen include:
· Ramping up talent programs in response to new strategy implementation
· Redesigning faulty management processes
· Changing the organization structure
· Establishing higher standard of performance
· Implementing technology and leading major change initiatives
Or ask yourself the question, “What is currently impossible to do, that if you could, would change everything? Solving that may be a great team developmental experience.
The project should have a significant impact on the business and call on the collective skills of the team members. You’ll need to monitor the project to make sure it is managed through to completion. This will require you to assume multiple roles in the process – team leader, team member and distant observer.
The most successful #CHRO that we work with, realize the need for a balance of real team and individual performance to increase leadership capacity and organizational capability. The key is to plan now, rather then react later. To start building a high performing team at the top, so you can quickly respond to changes you have no idea are coming your way.