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By Benjie Garcia

In my corporate life and now as a consultant, I’ve had a number of opportunities to help teams improve their effectiveness by operationalizing their mission, vision and values into the day-to-day activities. Oftentimes, our discussion starts with creating an understanding of the process of developing their team culture through such tools as Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development. 

For newly formed leadership teams, I’ve facilitated a process that enables the team leader and the members to have an open and honest discussion and to get to know each other better including their expectations, beliefs and principles, questions and concerns as well as suggestions.  The process concludes with a set of agreements and actions including follow up sessions intended to review progress of the team’s performance against these.  I have found such tools and processes to be critically important in increasing the likelihood of teams to perform at a high level.

In her book “Your Hidden Game – Ten Invisible Agreements That Can Make or Break Your Business”, Sharon Rich shares 10 ground rules that teams and organizations need to explicitly gain alignment in order to deliver the desired results.  The absence of these “agreements” results in a culture of unspoken rules, unquestioned assumptions and patterns of behavior that can derail the team. She defines “agreements” as a “state of conscious alignment between people: a unified clarity and acceptance regarding shared purpose, expectations, attitudes and actions.”  Incorporating the formulation of these agreements in a team’s norming process will enhance its effectiveness.  I will briefly explain each of these ten agreements:

Each team or organization will have to formulate a set of agreements that they believe works for them through a process of discussion and consultation.  Transforming this into a culture means creating new habits for team members. This is a collective journey where having measures and milestones will serve to guide the team to achieving their desired culture.

Source: Your Hidden Game – Ten Invisible Agreements That Can Make or Break Your Business, Sharon Rich, 2018

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