Creating Transformative Teams that solve problems and implement mission goals play one of the most crucial roles in moving an organization from a business as usual/hierarchical, short-term, non-sustainable orientation to a transformative, organic/flat, sustainable orientation, and is a primary focus of FarVision’s work.
Recently a friend of mine, a successful business owner/ CEO, was consolidating several operational locations into a modern central headquarters. This required moving people, equipment, office supplies etc. We were on a brief holiday together when I had the opportunity to observe how decisions are made in her company. A call came from one of her managers asking what should be done with 2 desks; move them, sell them, store them? She and the manager discussed the options and she said to just move them to the new facility and put them in the hall by her office until a final decision was made. They then chatted about how all was going and ended the call. This to me is an example of “the CEO has to sign off on the toilet paper”; too many decisions are made at the top. What a waste! How many times a day are phone calls like that made and by how many people? Multiply that over a period and the cost to the company in the wasted capital, time and human potential will be significant. There is a solution that is simple but not easy; build the organizational muscle to share authority through Transformative Teams.
Building the organization’s capacity for problem-solving through Transformative Teams takes commitment, willingness to take risks and maturity from all members. It also requires that the Ultimate Authority (owner/CEO/President) for the organization is willing to share her/his authority so that decisions are made at the right levels, by the right people and at the right time. That means that accountability, responsibility, risk-taking, and rewards are shared, WHERE the decisions are made, and their solutions are executed, instead of holding all that at the top and sending down directions.
Sharing authority, by using a sustainable process, throughout the organization achieves the following:
- Shortened, effective decision making and solution execution
- A proactive environment to take advantage of opportunities quickly and effectively
- Elimination of silos
- A strategic roadmap to focus on the Mission tasks to achieve the Vision
- Acceptance of risk taking and making mistakes to build a mature organization
- Collaboration for long-term prosperity, a caring environment, honest communication, commitment to wellness, and creative practices
- Connections and creative conflict among all departments
- Elimination of feeling stuck
FarVision has an organic process, Realizing Optimum, for problem-solving that works best with teams and with challenges that have been around for a while or have long-term implications. Because teams are time-consuming, a quick decision, like “what do we do with the desks?”, should be made by one person who has the authority. Sharing authority to flatten hierarchies begins with the Ultimate Authority (CEO/President/owner) and moves to include the Leadership Team (department leaders/key decision makers). The Ultimate Authority and the Leadership Team begin to build the organizational muscle/flatten the hierarchy, share authority by writing the Purpose, Vision, and Mission and then setting the strategic objectives guided by Purpose, aligned to the Vision and accomplished through the Mission. The Mission elements become goals that are accomplished by Transformative Teams. The teams adjust once the mission goals/tasks/problems are solved; they never become committees or permanent. The result of using this disciplined approach creates a more adaptive environment that frees up its members to sustain the business through turbulent times in the long run.
Using teams is not a new practice. We have been successfully using teams for over 30 years in a variety of industries, sizes of businesses and locations. The one constant for success is HOW the teams are formed, WHO is on them, and HOW decisions are made, and the solutions implemented. This is very simple, not easy, to achieve when there is one replicable process that sets the guardrails as well as supports the freedom to make mistakes while maintaining accountability.
Won’t it be a great day when the phone rings and your manager says “you know those desks we bought, I got rid of them because my team just came up with a better solution for locating our business.” That will be the day when you know you are part of an organic organization that will make it in the long run. Congratulations!