Once you’re through the initial panic of getting your small business off the ground on your own, attention soon turns towards putting the right team in place to secure your firm’s long-term future. Get the mix right, and you can look forward to many years of calm, steady growth. Get it wrong, and you’ll be fire-fighting forever.
Success, as the old saying goes, leaves clues and high-performing teams are easily identified by the habits they cultivate. Let’s take a quick trip through the 5 habits that define successful teams.
- They Write Things Down
Though it may sound blindingly obvious, the amount of people and teams that fail to do this is staggering. Look around the table the next time you’re having a meeting – does everyone present have a notebook and pen in front of them? If not, there’s a major, and incredibly easily solved, problem with your current approach.
- They Relentlessly Identify Next Actions
One of the key things that a successful team will be using their notebooks for is identifying and capturing relevant next actions across all their projects. Having a crystal clear view of the next immediate task to carry out enables teams to move swiftly and steadily towards their wider goals.
- They Regularly Review Overall Purpose and Plan
In addition to mastering on-the-ground detail, successful teams also regularly take a step back and check in with each other on their overall purpose and shared plans. In the day-to-day trenches of small business survival, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of the bigger picture. By explicitly setting aside time for this, successful teams keep morale high and move confidently towards a clearly articulated vision of the future.
- They Hold Retrospectives
In the real world, things don’t always go according to plan. Successful teams embrace this reality and seek to turn it to their advantage by holding official retrospectives of all projects where they analyse wins and losses, and identify key learnings for the future.
- They Ask the Right Questions
The common thread that runs through all our points is the ability to ask the right questions. Rather than treating them as a threat or interruption, successful teams encourage robust questioning of their approach, and pride themselves on asking the right questions up front, rather than relying on hidden assumptions – it’s a powerful habit to cultivate and one that you should encourage across your own organisation. Simple questions such as how do we define success? and how will we know if this is failing? can shine a powerful light on even the trickiest of projects.
Successful teams are built not born and it’s your job as a business owner to gradually shape and develop them over time. The power of habit is a truly enormous help in this regard and by cultivating the five practices we’ve outlined above, you’ll soon start seeing successful teams emerging as a result. Start working on them today and you can expect to see significant results in the very near future!