- Gangadhar Mutathi
Building Most Adorable Teams (MAT)
Team Performance and Reputation
Whether you are a team member or a team leader, you are most likely worried about your team’s performance and reputation. You want to know how others perceive your team and you as a team leader.
Do they appreciate your team or do not show much respect? You could be a satisfied team leader or struggling to build a cohesive and performing team. Team leaders of larger teams would be more worried as they have many smaller teams that are spread out (physically as well as mentally). They have a much bigger challenge as they have a range of teams that
differ in their performance and reputation.
Every team leader (and leaders of team leaders) would like to build a resilient team and expand it. And to build Most Adorable Teams you will require a few tools and frameworks. Trial and error would be quite expensive. Neither emulating best practices would help in building a solid team(s) without a good analysis of your context.
If you are looking to build resilient teams then the first step would be to characterize your team. Characterization means describing the personality of your team. Every team has a DNA profile.
Team DNA Profile
The Team DNA profile tool helps you to profile the personality of your team based on the perception of a few groups of people about your team and team leaders.
As a team leader you can choose your internal team members and people outside your team who interact with your team closely and regularly. These people can provide you with their perception of your team. This is done through an online survey tool. The Team DNA Profile survey tool can be administered in any organization. The survey has to follow certain
guidelines to get the best results. Example of guidelines include the number of outside teams,
the number of people in each outside team, how the analysis would be presented to each team, how will HR aggregate the analysis and so on.
The Team DNA profiler takes the perception about your team on five critical dimensions that characterize a team:
1. Decisions and mindsets
2. Information Flow
3. Motivators and Influencers
Team DNA Dimensions
The five dimensions are the levers that team leaders can use to change the culture and reputation of their teams. A fe w questions in each dimension is given below to understand how they are configured in a team:
1. Decision making and mindsets: How are decisions on crucial issues made in the team? What issues are considered critical? When are the decisions made? What analysis is done before deciding?
2. Information Flow: How is information communicated to people in the team? Who
communicates on various issues? Can people ask questions and what type of questions? Are there back door conversation channels?
3. Structure: How is the team organized? What is the basis of reporting structure? Is the team organized for financial results or implementing strategy?
4. Motivators and Influencers: How are rewards and recognition decided for the team? Is individual performance rated higher than team performance? Are the rewards timely?
5. Innovation: How important is innovation? How does the team promote innovation? How are
ideas provided and nourished? Are innovations implemented?
Team DNA Profiles
Team profiles provide a vantage point for the team leaders to decide the change action course. Knowing the profile opens up the possibility of change. Team members can be involved in charting the mission of change that they all would like to undertake.
There seven profiles of Team DNA. These profiles provide a practical foundation for the team leader to first understand the team and second, to take up change initiative. The figure in the side panel indicates the seven profiles of teams.
Why the CEO and CHRO need to profile teams in the organization?
The main reason is that an organization is a collection of teams (the unit of change). The second is that organization change is about moving smaller wheels of team so as to build and move giant sized wheels of the organization.