Managing Teams

Over the coming years and possibly decades, the learning ability of any organization or even individuals will matter a lot. Companies will need to instil among their employees a sense of learnability. Agility must be embedded so that people can think and act differently. When unexpected and unplanned events occur, an agile firm can respond much better and quicker to such transformations. Business innovations are then easier to embrace. People also tend to collaborate better with each other rather than working in silos. For this, the four Es of learning need to be incorporated. These are Education, Experience, Environment and Exposure. Alongside this adherence must also be built a combination of Macro and Micro learning styles. Learning new skills or imbibing information, understanding moods, mindsets, behaviours and establishing connections form macro learning. Micro involves the speed at which newer ideas can be incorporated and then executed. Five major touch points are needed to create the ideal agile learning environment. This includes learning moments through formal corporate training programmes, workshops, hackathons or retreats. Another is user generated through case studies and online learning like MOOCs. Learning bits maybe picked up suing videos, webinars, podcasts, articles and books. Practice sessions would involve role plays and active learning rounds. Finally people are important here in the form of mentors, coaches, forums and leaders.


Uploaded Date:31 July 2017

For a lot of managers, a typical day goes by solving a lot of other people’s problems. These include both technical deficiencies as well as collaboration issues. The really good managers though create an environment where escalating the problem to them is an exception, and not the norm. In order to be such an effective manager who allows the team to sort out problems themselves, each one needs to ask oneself some questions periodically. First of all, they must ask whose problem is the one concerned and thus who must solve the same. Another dilemma is what is more important, solving a problem the moment it arises, or doing it later but the right way. Each manager has a minimum responsibility at such situations to be exercised, in either of the approaches followed. An example could be cited of a case where an executive does not have proper email drafting abilities but needs to write to a senior manager in a different team. At such times, the manager needs to step in and provide due corporate training on formal writing skills. The problems presented to the manager must be approached from three different angles. One could be a content problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Another is a pattern and this is more dangerous as the same conflicts seems to be repeating themselves. The third such would be a relationship issue where matters are permanently fractured between two parties and close attention is needed. A policy followed at It giant AT & T is that matters are escalated only when the entire team agrees to do so. This encourages the organization wide concept of peer accountability.


Uploaded Date:28 July 2017

Management consulting giant Deloitte has drafted a classification system to enable firms to better comprehend personality types to further leverage such diversity. According to this classification, any team could comprise four kinds of people. They are Pioneers, Guardians, Drivers and Integrators. Pioneers are those who are extremely curious by nature, as a result of which embrace business innovation. Guardians are the opposite, as they do not prefer much disruption, but a kind of stability to existing processes. The former are more emotional and expressive while the latter are usually the reserved kind. Drivers are those that straddle the line in between these extremes. On the one hand, they possess the desire and passion of pioneers to take on new challenges, but on the other also comprehend the practical purposes behind guardians’ caution. The Integrators are the most diplomatic of all, connecting all disparate poles. They seek and bestow trust, thus focus on the bigger picture through empathetic a vision.


Uploaded Date: 20 July 2017

With remote working an increasing reality, companies are having to tweak their HR systems accordingly to cater to them. There are a few mistakes which must be avoided at all costs while dealing with such remote teams. One such is an inability to evaluate the remote team’s performance. There are several ways to fill this gap in the vital business intelligence. Weekly feedback must be regularised. The same applies to quarterly reviews. Periodic teleconferences must be held. But importantly, even on daily basis, touch point must be maintained for regular communication. Another mistake is not communicating the expectations from the team. This should be regulated through weekly task deadlines, monthly or quarterly goals and a time commitment. A sense of ownership needs to be inculcated with the project. Company support needs to be extended towards troubleshooting and tech issues. A contact tree must be provided with details about people concerned and their contact information. Another mistake is not using relevant platforms that are available for remote working. Examples of these are Ace Project, Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Google Drive, Trello, Asana, Dropbox and Bitrix 24. Another failing is an inability to get face time which can be rectified suing Skype, Web Ex or Google Hangouts. Finally, social networking platforms such IGLOO, Face Time, Mango Apps and Yammer as must be used to the hilt.


Uploaded Date:14 July 2017

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