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Successfirmations: Think, Reveal, Receive – Business Warfighting Practices for Great Teams

Posted by DamianDSkipper Pitts Blogs | Leadership Dec 15, 2011
What makes great business teams stand apart? Business warfighting practices takes you inside of the United States Marine Corps to discover how a powerful set of new practices can change the way leaders lead, team members function, organizations meet upcoming challenges, and leaders make decisive decisions to achieve successful outcomes within the Future Picture. Business Warfighting Practices reveals how and why the organizations that have implemented this innovative team structure have become great companies, able to perform with high waves of transforming behaviors during lean times and truly soar when opportunities arise. Great teams do more than improve an organization’s performance; they continually raise the bar to redefine how “peak performance” is defined. Business warfighting practices crack the code to transform leader’s thought processes and the organization’s behaviors into teams of highly skilled and motivated performers who are ready, willing, and able to respond to any business challenge in any business or non-business scenario.

Business WARFIGHTING Practices for Great Teams

Business warfighting practices are used by organizations to build great working teams. But, as some begin to explore the concept of building a team and how an organization can use them to achieve their desired outcomes, it is first important for the leaders responsible for making the decisions to be fully aware that teams are NOT what they used to be. The nature of teams has changed significantly because of the transitional factors, internally and externally of the organization, and the nature of the work the organization is responsible to perform. 

 

Organizations have become more distributed across geography and across industries. Relationships between people inside and out (customers, suppliers, managers of collaborating organizations, other stakeholders) have become significantly more critical to the success of the organization. Leaders must be willing to discover the value of collaborative work. There is a new perspective and more defined emphasis placed on knowledge management that requires leaders to harvest the learning and experiences of their associates to ensure that the information is available to the whole organization. All these changes in organizations have changed how teams are formed and how they operate.

 

A great example of an organization that is successful harvesting the learning and experiences of their associates to achieve high levels of success is the United States Marine Corps' Special Operations Teams. These are teams who work diligently to execute every mission with precise focus to center its outcomes on the team's shared values. Without shared values peak performance is not possible. Without peak performance, mission success cannot be achieved. Team values must align with an organization's purpose, mission, actions and desired effects to their Future Picture. Are you aware of the level your team currently operates? Is it time to raise the bar of individual and team performance? Does the organization actually have teams or groups of people working together? These questions, regardless of where the organization stands at this very moment, require some consideration and further unpacking.

 

Leaders of small and large organizations have known the importance of facilitation for successful team process, but few people have actually grappled with the issues of trying to manage teams that are connected by distance in space and time. With increasing relevance of distributed communications systems (Internet, Intranets, etc) within a diverse segment of everyday working groups and lives, innovators in the field will need to integrate best practices – in our opinion, business warfighting practices – into their current team building stratagem, while learning how to continually improve the organization's team development process.

 

There are a few things to consider when thinking about integrating innovative thinking to better define the team process:

 

§         Processes for team leaders and development needs must be examined, designed, defined, piloted, tested and refined.

§         The “culture” of the organization has to be reshaped to support new structures and processes.

§         Team leaders have to be trained in new team management stratagem, thinking and executing – they must understand how the team must be agile, strategic and flawless with execution.

§         Organizational structures have to be modified to reflect new team dynamics.

§         Rewards systems have to be updated to reflect new team structures.

§         New information technology (IT) systems have to be built to support teams.

§         New management, measurement and control systems must be examined, designed, defined, piloted, tested and refined.   

 

To help with achieving these and more, here are the twelve practices to consider, known as “Business Warfighting for GREAT Teams,” to develop peak performing organizational units. Each of them require further unpacking and will be treated as individual articles to help team leaders and organizations learn the specific practice for use:

 

Practice #1: Understand the Unit, Realize the Team

 

Practice #2: Examine the 5Ps within the Future Picture

 

Practice #3: Place Team First – Mission Critical

 

Practice #4: Walk the Talk 

 

Practice #5: Know the Art of Business Warfighting & Strategy

 

Practice #6: Maintain Peak Performance

 

Practice #7: Communicate Horizontally and Vertically

 

Practice #8: Practice Front Line Adaptive Leadership

 

Practice #9: Figure the War Room, Capitalize on Synergy

 

Practice #10: Clarify Purpose, Procedure and Mission Critical Execution

 

Practice #11: Understand Successfirmations: Positive Mental Attitude

 

Practice #12: Strive for Excellence – the Team's Vantage Point

 

As interesting as it may seem, these practices offer a key mixture to achieving peak performance that increases an individual's level of personal proficiency and multiplies their deposits to the organizations and teams they are a part. All of this translates into improved professional mastery. It basically comes down to this; developing teams to outperform the competition with positive organizational behavior and emotional energy to win is an absolute must.

 

Have you wondered, at least over the past year, how to fire up the workplace to deliver consistently higher levels of performance than the competition? If so, a serious question must have crossed your mind at one time or another: “what is the key ingredient to get the fire burning in a controlled direction with agility to deliver successful outcomes?” Here's the answer for you; add a little organizational behavior mixed with a bit more emotional commitment, shaken not stirred to accompany team maneuvers with a splash of success!

 

Business warfighting practices for great teams are as informative as they are both knowledgeable and enjoyable. They stimulate peak performance that inspires great passion, while aligning hearts to transition mindsets across entire organizational bodies. They offer a straightforward approach to engaging relationships between people inside and out of the organization (customers, suppliers, managers of collaborating organizations, other stakeholders), helping them to become significantly more critical to the success of the organization.

 

These important concepts are essential in their delivery to provide leaders with fresh insight into the intrinsic qualities found in highly productive organizations. In the end, the unquestionable illustration of peak performance lies within the value of the individual and how the resources are used to validate the importance of commitment – individually and to the overall organization and team.

 

What's Next?

 

More and more, teams are becoming more virtually connected with technology causing the rules of engagement to change dramatically. It's time to stop thinking of them as a special case and start developing strategies for dealing with the new challenges they create. Virtual teams need the same things all teams need: a clear mission, an explicit statement of roles and responsibilities, communications options which serve its different needs, opportunities to learn and change direction. It is the leaders role and responsibility to help the team learn how to be “E Pluribus Unum” – one from many, and most of all, ensure that each stakeholder in the process have some “skin in the game” (voice) and the needed access to knowledge and experience from others to create successful wins in the team's future. But, the most important thing to remember is that managing and leading teams who are considered great basically comes down to the process the leader him/herself is responsible to manage. Is your team ready to take off and reach new levels of success? Are you?

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