Tag Archives: coaching

Achieving individual success in a team organization

Individual success in a team organization is radically different from what it was in traditional organizations. To become successful as an individual in a team-based organization, you have to take action on three levels: 1. you and your talent, 2. you and the team you work with, 3. you and the organization you work in

Michael Jordan said it best: “there is no I in ‘TEAM’ but there is in ‘WIN’”. In sports, the most talented individuals are recognized as being the most valuable. In team-based organizations, e.g. Agile organizations or Super7 Operations, this is not yet the case. But it has to, if these organizations want to keep their most talented individuals on board.

In traditional organizations, the results of talented individuals were very visible. Based on their individual results, they would quickly get promotions and pay raises. In a team-based organization, however, success is always the success of a team, not of an individual. On the short-term, this work fine, much better even than traditional organizations. But after a few years, the real talents get restless and will demand recognition – or they will leave.

Change is needed on how individuals and organizations see and reward success. You as an individuals need to know what defines success for you. And organizations need to recognize unique talents within teams, and reward them proportionally.

It starts, however, with you. From my years of experience with team-based organizations, I’ve developed a practical model that you can use to become successful within your team organization.

Model by Menno R. van Dijk

Model by Menno R. van Dijk

First, you need to become “The I in Win”. For this, you need to work on understanding and improving three elements for success:

  • your values that define success to you (what drives you)
  • your talents that you can use to be successful (what makes you unique)
  • your experience that you have built up in using your talent (what you already know and did)

Secondly, you need a successful team. On this level, you need to work on improving two elements for success:

  • best-practices that enable teams to be succesfull (e.g. Lean, Agile, Super7 Operations)
  • excellence in cooperation, making optimal use of the different talents within your team

And finally, you need to manage your surroundings. The better you get a managing yourself and your team, the more successful you will get. At that point, you need to work on improving two elements for success:

  • make sure that you are rewarded for making the best use of what you do best, not for trying to improve on what you do worst. In a team organization, you don’t have to excel in everything.
  • find the best people to work with. Use the success of your team to increase your circle of influence. You will be able to choose your team and the organization that suits you best.

For more information, practical exercises or coaching (in Dutch or English), please check this site: www.persoonlijke-innovatie.nl

Menno R. van Dijk

There is an I in teamwork!

Don’t conform, be an individual – especially when you are part of a team. You are of most value for your team if you perform at your own best. And this won’t happen if you conform to what others think you should do. You will be of value for your team when you use your talents, not your job description. And when you give your drive and energy to your team, not just your time.

More and more companies are becoming team-based nowadays. Health care, for instance, is one sector that is applying autonomous teams at a large scale. And which software isn’t yet being developed by scrum teams in sprints? Super7 teams have replaced the old-fashioned back-office. And now entire traditional companies are changing into Agile Organizations, complete with Squads, Tribes and Chapters.

What does this shift towards teamwork mean for the individual employees – for you, as a team member? As an individual, you are often expected to perform as assigned, just like a robots are expected to. But we are much more than just beings that can perform tasks. We have a huge untapped potential that we can bring to the equation, like creative ideas, positivity, advice, hope, support, etc. In order to be of optimal value in a team, you have to know what value you can bring to the team. This means knowing your talents and personal values. Who you are, who you can become, and what you are potentially especially good at. And knowing how you can deliver on these talents – how you can become productive. It is important to have clear goals for yourself, goals that are in line with the goals of your team. And above all, you should keep improving how you manage yourself, your own development, your own productivity, your time and energy.

When I look at what is demanded of the individual in these teams, I feel that there should be more attention for the individual in team-based organizations. Coaching will become crucial on this matter. Not only coaching at team level (e.g. agile coaches), not only on subject matter (e.g. chapter lead coaching) but even more so coaching to unleash the full potential of an individual. Without the right nurture of the individual, we’re just settling for suboptimal results. With the right coaching, dormant individual potential will empower the realization of our team-goals.

And, did you know that you can find an actual letter “i” within the word “TEAM”? You may have to use your imagination a bit, but look at the negative space within the A – do you see it?

Menno R. van Dijk, with the help of Chi Lung Yung the author of ProductiviChi