The process of how different positions or departments within an organisation are cooperating within themselves or with each other is one of the aspects leaders think need to be determined by them. We know from complexity and change management that a leader is usually unknowingly overwhelmed with situations. Therefore everybody can help to optimize team cooperation.
Team cooperation depends on domain of complexity
Directors successful in one organisation often fail when taking the same position in a different organisation. They often apply their best practices which worked at the old organisation without being aware of the complex domain they are navigating within their new organisation. With all the metrics, KPI’s or revenue figures we are supposed to turn companies around with we often tend to forget that each organisation is foremost a construct of human interactions.
An optimal team cooperation process within teams is therefore not solely the duty of the director. While this person probably has the best skills to foresee issues and give ideas about their past experiences, they are not safe to fail. Organisations should embrace an environment for teams to establish processes in which they are safe to fail and learn from their experiences. It is the leaders who should give the directions and give guidance as to where the team can experiment in order to find the best solution to cooperate with the whole organisation.
The Agile Manifesto of Software Development
The Agile Manifesto of Software Development is a set of 4 values and 12 principles which should guide teams to focus on delivering value as soon and as often as possible. While it is a philosophy that originated in the software development industry, its connotations can be applied throughout all industries. Replacing “Working Software” with “Delivering value” makes the Manifesto more comprehensive and wholesome.
The principle No 5 says: “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
It embraces the fact that motivated individuals in self-organised teams are most effective, efficient and therefore most productive. Nevertheless, most organisations do not trust their individuals enough. And even if they do trust them they misunderstand the principle stating that people left alone will organise their work.
For most successful organisations applying the self-organisational principle the truth is somewhere in the middle: Neither that individuals simply create optimised processes on their own, nor that they are told step by step how to go about things. Today’s managers should be leaders – leading people into the right learnings, applying better tools and as a result being more successful. While optimising team cooperation seems to be more effective when the team is doing it autonomously the organisation needs to provide the values, tools and environment to make them effective and efficient.