We normally like to use a wave as our illustration for support but in a break with tradition the team have challenged me to look at a different visual aid. So here we have it – a simple deck of cards building up to make a pyramid. It works at a number of levels (excuse the pun) so here we go . . . .
Firstly each card giving height is stacked against another for support. If you use this principle as you go round those that you require support from you will find that there is great strength in tying together the support of one individual or group with the support of another. This often sounds like “If we do this for . . . . . then you will get . . . . . and so we can all do . . . . . “
Next you will see that some of the cards do not provide any upwards support but do provide a reliable and strong base for the next set of height balancing cards. Without this firm base the next layer will be very fragile. Look out for groups and people who will act in a way that ties together what you are building and provides a firm platform from which to build up.
Finally we can see that support is fragile. Even with the best cards and the best balancing the pyramid can all be brought down with the removal of one card or the gentle nudge of the table it is built on. So watch out for those cards which might waiver and for the stumbling drunk coming back from the bar who is going to steal your moment of glory.
Whilst the picture looks like playing cards it is in fact a coffee table – Click Here
From the Centre for Creative Leadership
It’s not easy to be a “team player.” As a team player, not only do you and your team have to work well together, but you also have to collaborate with many other teams and individuals. To be most effective, teams and team leaders need to build relationships, share information and generate a positive image of their efforts.
To help you and your team improve your collaboration and relationship-building skills, be sure to have the following three areas covered:
First, obtain sponsorship. High-level organisational sponsorship goes a long way toward setting the stage for team success. If the CEO or another top executive publicly supports your team, people in your organisation will perceive the team’s mission as vital and urgent. That will enable your team to get the resources and system support it needs to succeed.
Second, form key relationships. Your team needs stakeholders who may be team sponsors, customers, business partners or even competitors. The degree to which you need to develop these key relationships, both inside and outside of the organisation, will depend upon your team’s tasks.
Think about these questions to help you determine the kinds of relationships your team needs to perform at its best:
What relationships will you need among business units, sales and marketing groups, customers and perhaps even your competitors?
What information or resources will your team require from other individuals or teams to complete its work?
How will your team function effectively within the broader context of the organisation’s vision, values and practices?
Will your team interact with external clients? If so, are they consistent, stable clients?
Will external stakeholders evaluate your team’s work? If so, how will your team receive this feedback?
How will communication and coordination between your team and other relevant parties be managed?
What publicity and communication channels are available to your team?
How will your team’s purposes, capabilities and performance be communicated on a regular basis?
Knowing the answer to these questions will determine the key relationships your team needs to form.
Lastly, in order for your team to meet its goals, you must secure organisational support. Gaining the support of colleagues, peers, top management and others in the organisation will help your team’s success. Clearly articulate your needs and form relationships with leaders who can fulfil them. Ask for non-financial support such as training opportunities and performance feedback. And of course, show appreciation for the support you receive.