Have you heard about the concept of building agile teams? These highly skilled units of workers, hand-picked for their unique talents, are let loose by their helpful and accommodating manager to do what they do best. These groups can work faster, respond to ever-changing work environments, have unparalleled cohesion, and are able to get their jobs done with minimal oversight and maximum autonomy.
Sounds like a dream come true, right? The challenges facing many modern businesses require individuals who know how to evolve, but the right team doesn't just sprout up overnight. You've got to take a few steps to enable workers to perform at their best.
Keep The Team Small
You don't normally associate the term "agile" with something that is big and bulky. The same applies for agile teams. Limit the group to 5-10 people for the best results. You don't need a boatload of specialists, just a small core of very flexible workers who know their stuff.
Assemble The Right People
When we're talking about the "right people," what we mean is people who are talented, passionate, and capable of performing independent work. It is crucial that they are aligned with your vision, share the team values, and are willing to work for the good of the team above all else.
Assemble The Right Tools
Once you have the team in place, they need the right tools in place so that they can do their jobs. Working on a fundraising drive? They need access to sites like Plumfund and other crowdfunding platforms. Doing a big social media push? Then get those social apps setup so they can succeed. Other good ideas are project management tools like Trello and Asana, which allow your team to collaborate effortlessly.
Now you need to step back and let them work. It might be tempting to try and step in every five seconds to give your input, but the key to agility is letting people do what they do best.
For the good of the team, remember? Your crew has to work as a unit. If you need to build the team up a bit, consider a project that will bring them together, or plan a team trip where they can work on becoming a cohesive force (ideas on that here).
Every good team needs a goal to work towards. Make sure your unit isn't rudderless by charting out your goals and setting your team on their way to accomplishing those goals.
Be An Inspiration
They might be working autonomously, but they still look up to the leader. Be a leader. Set a good example for your team, and they'll likely follow suit once they are sufficiently inspired.
No free passes on the agile team. If someone makes a mistake, they're responsible for it and should take the right steps to correct it. This applies equally to the team leader. If you flub, be upfront, own up to it, fix it, then move on from it.
Expect The Unexpected
You cannot and should not expect to be able to control every detail. Know that things will arise that you didn't plan for and adapt to changing situations with a cool head for the best results.
What works today may not work tomorrow. Stay on your toes, and be ready for the landscape to shift at a moment's notice. If your team is truly agile, you'll be able to take the changing tides in stride.
Thanks to Wendy Dessler for this great article
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
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