Improving team performance comes from both within and without
If you are running a team or project team, especially when you have new team or one where there has been a change in team membership, you need to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible.
Underpinning is this how you can capture, use and capitalise on the team’s knowledge, expertise, experience and insights. Here are three ways by which you can do this:
- Encourage collaboration and co-mentoring
Capture and share the individual and collective knowledge of the team, this is an invaluable asset that you can use and leverage. This can cover a wealth of subjects related both directly and indirectly to that which you are working on.
You can do this or informally including lunch-time presentations, or people sharing what they have learnt from recent courses or experiences, brain-storming sessions, encouraging and enabling people to working across and learn from different departments etcetera. Doing this helps you to understand others’ perspectives and to remove and reduce erroneous assumptions. This helps to reduce the communication, knowledge and understanding gaps between your team and others.
- Internal Processes and references to capture knowledge
Capturing knowledge, insights and experience from your team helps everyone to benefit and learn from what has succeeded and what has failed and why. Key to this is having a “learning” or “growth” mindset where you have the attitude that failure is not a bad thing, but an opportunity to learn and improve what you do and how you do it.
Establishing regular, daily start-up team meetings allows you to take the initiative early on to gather as much information from as many people as possible. Build into these meetings a “lesson-learned moment” – this moment can be team-specific or outside of the project. The purpose of this to focus the team, individually and collectively, to develop a continual improvement mindset.
- Encourage cross-learning
Rather than learning from just your own mistakes and success, look to learn from what others have done elsewhere. This can be in the same industry, sector or project type, or it can also be from others, and help you identify where and how you can improve what you do. This can include areas and topics associated with what you do, or in different areas.
Good knowledge management will prove to be the linchpin that turns you and your team around allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively, to manage your team’s expectations as well as those who work with your team, and to achieve better results and outcomes.
So what are you going to do to build, retain and leverage your team’s knowledge and expertise? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.
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