So you do a great job with your Top Talent, but what about your Top Teams?
Individual vs. Collective development.
Many companies have exquisite high potential programmes, designed to accelerate the development of those that have been designated as having the potential to become future leaders of the organisation. There is often a massive HR industry that supports this, tooled up with 9 box grids, potential identification frameworks and talent forums.
We don’t take any issue with this – but we do take issue with the fact that in most organisations development is done at the individual level, not collective. Executives who reach the top have been groomed for individual, not collective, brilliance. Suddenly they are expected to ‘collaborate together’, when for most of their careers they have been rewarded on individual achievement.
The reality is that delivering results is usually achieved through teams, not individuals. Teams make up the front and middle layers of most organisations, yet within the senior leadership there is a very little evidence to suggest a real or top team. As we have commented here it’s tough at the top.
This is perhaps an area where business can learn from the outside. When we look outside business to those high performing teams in the health service, military and competitive sports – they all have one thing in common: they regularly train together. Regardless of rank or seniority they build trust, credibility and agility through learning and rehearsing a new skill or capability. It is team building in a natural form.
So the next time you are putting together an executive development programme, consider enrolling groups of intact teams – rather than individuals. And watch the collaboration naturally happen.