Undoubtedly I enjoy weekends playing with LEGO blocks with my two little kids and to build imaginary structures and models. Enjoyment doubles when my family and kids friends join us in building LEGO star trek models and war ships because at that moment the single purpose is to design star trek models.
Often I wonder why elders and kids participate actively without invitation in building LEGO models and office project teams fail to equally collaborate after coaching them, training them and working along with them!!!!!
To investigate this topic further I attempted following experiments. My analysis and observations are:
Experiment # 1: Next working day at office, we defined goals for iteration. As a coach I motivated team, managers and executives in importance of goal and milestone.
Result: team took goal as a challenge and worked to achieve it.
Goal setting solved team engagement challenge to some extent as managers defined team tasks and planned to achieve goals. However business representatives did not involve actively with team in goal achievement as nothing excited them in goal achievement journey. On one hand business representatives demanded training and technology knowledge for them to work along with project team and on other hand project team demanded state of art technology infrastructure and business knowledge to define plan in achieving goal.
Experiment #2: In next iteration, I defined purpose along with goal and motivated team, managers and business representatives.
This time business + manager + team collaborated actively to achieve goal.
During retrospective I discussed and analysed the sudden change in attitude. Analysis is as follows:
- Goal setting bought clarity of work and milestones.
- Purpose bought atmosphere of meaning and value for goal.
Timeboxed iteration bought sense of urgency in achieving purpose and goal.
This time business executives, managers and team collaborated actively and stretched their work boundaries to help each other in achieving the iteration goal.
Purpose is the single and most important fundamental reasons for team or community to collaborate. It gives reason for team existence. It also trigger sense of urgency in each member to use his or her competency and skills and go beyond their normal self in achieving common goal.
Organizations invest heavily on trainings, consultants and team building skills and often forget the basics rules of community and team collaboration. Defined purpose motivates each individual to work together with unknown team members and experts and build the culture of trust with transparent communication and rise above individual expectations and deliver the best.
Often it is seen in situation of crisis individuals bury self-ego and display heroic efforts in rescuing situation. However reigniting similar fire in organization teams in day-to-day situation is daunting task.
Clarity of goal and purpose achievement added with right level of motivation help in liberating team spirit. Active and high performing team dominate the situation by writing new rules for challenges faced in achieving goals.
Again make no mistake, team or community only collaborate if meaningful goals are evident. Clear understanding of situation, main problem which require immediate attention and as a team what we can do collaboratively helps in team or community identifying feeling of oneness for purpose. Added to this sense of urgency or time deadline and consequence of not achieving helps in ensuring team motivation sustain until goal and meaningful purpose is achieved.
Summing up; as a coach or as a silent and servant leader identify the purpose to ensure true collaboration culture in projects and organization.