Teambuilding – Designing an Effective Business Team – Part 3 of 7


Today we’re in Part 3 of our Series onTeam-Building.  In our strategic planning practice, we see a key differentiator for businesses from their competition is the success of their teams; how effectively they work together, innovate and implement their strategies. In this series we break down and discuss 7 key components of successful teams.  Today’s topic is Commitment to Action.


Commitment to Action

Plans are no good if they aren’t executed

A function of clarity and buy-in, commitment is a result of productive conflict and trust as discussed in Part 1 and 2 of this series. By soliciting team members’ opinions in a trusting environment and then testing those ideas in a challenging and comprehensive way, a team can confidently commit to resolution knowing that a decision benefitted from multiple ideas which were respected and tested in an innovative and thorough format. The difference between commitment and consensus (or majority rule) is striking:

Commitment: the team agrees to the decision knowing that they took the best course of action with everyone’s ideas considered; tapping into the collective wisdom of the entire team


 Majority rule: the majority can make a decision that does not consider the ideas of the minority

Effective teams can commit to a clear course of action even when there is little assurance that the decision is correct, willing to take risks when necessary. Non-commitment can lead to delaying important decisions causing lack of confidence and “analysis paralysis”.

Commitment to action is an important characteristic of effective teams. When you trust your members and have had comprehensive and thorough discussion, then you can agree to move forward and take action based on the collective wisdom of the group. Ideas that are not executed upon can never bring success. Teams that are successful execute on their plans.

5 Ways to promote team commitment:

1. Cascading Messaging

After team meetings, record and transmit the key decisions made to determine what should be communicated to the rest of employees or constituents. The result is team members identify areas where they are still not clear about what was agreed upon and need more clarification of outcomes before putting them into action. The outcome will be a clear and consistent message from management determining what needs to be communicated immediately and what should remain confidential.

2. Deadlines

Commit to schedules for making decisions.

3. Contingency and Worst-Case Scenario Analysis

This exercise results in reduction of fear. In understanding the risk of a wrong decision (if survivable) the team can see that the risk is far less damaging than they imagined.

4. Low Risk Exposure Therapy

Realize that extensive analysis is needed to make a correct decision if the topic has be exhaustibly discussed.

5. Role of Leader

The leader must be comfortable with a decision that may be wrong, constantly push the group for closure around issues, and commit to schedules and deliverables. The leader cannot place too much focus on certainty and consensus.

In our next series on Team-building – we will discuss the importance of Accountability.




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