“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Tuesday
Apr142009

Choirs or Super bands?

The challenges with building SUPER teams!

From the outset let me state I like choirs, I have nothing against choirs, choirs are good! (I hope that's clear enough). BUT, choirs are not made up of superstar stand alone singers, they are not the genius musicians that come together to form ‘SUPER bands' like U2! And this is my focus in this newsletter. Few SUPER bands stay together for ever. Those that do are truly special and go onto to become iconic, symbolic custodians of the time and poets of the evolution of man..heavy stuff!

You see my real problem is the emphasis on teams. I am not convinced the techniques for building teams work when you are dealing with SUPER talents. Sure they help standardise the norm, lift the common average and ensure consistent results with inconsistent performers, but should the same rules apply to your extraordinary individuals? And as an extension, what would happen if you could build a SUPER team composed of outstanding performers? Do the same team building rules apply?

Choirs are mostly (not all and many are amazing) made up of some pretty average talents musically who simply enjoy coming together to make a sound better than they can achieve by themselves. Choir members get a social need fulfilled by being part of a team. The sum is truly greater than the parts, there is no ‘I' in team and 1 + 1 = 3. That's all true and history validates it; the Romans did it with soldiers, the industrial age did it with factories, Unions did it with industries. The Seaforth under 8‘s soccer team will do it.

We are stronger together. Indeed the togetherness is what the team building programs of the 80's worked towards but do they still count?

YES, if you are building choirs.

But what if you need something more? What if you need the rock stars of your industry or your company to work together? Is it possible to build super teams? And if so what do you need to do differently?

Hollywood have it right. They get the best actors, with the best director, with the best writers and other remarkable specialists to come together and achieve amazing projects. They build 100 million dollar businesses in under 6 months. Often you see them coming together time and time again. It's meritocracy not democracy.

Business needs to build smarter teams, dare I say Super teams, that don't pander to the lowest common denominator but rather manage the complex and unique challenges involved in keeping the true talents together.

M@

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