This is the last of a series on Teal and Levels of Work. Here is the backstory for the series. The purpose is to explore the tenets of Teal through the lens of Levels of Work. Links to each post in this series, below.
From the Ask Tom mailbag –
I have a question, what are the biggest challenges for companies starting self-organizing teams?
First, give any group of people a problem to solve and they will self-organize into a team to solve the problem. There will be discussion, disagreement, agreement and commitment. Some members of the team may fall out. A leader will emerge. Some would call this role a coach, others a manager.
You already have a self-organized team. The next step is to create an accountable team, where the team itself manages accountability. Some teams push accountability management to the leader (coach, manager) and given the opportunity, many leaders (coaches, managers) cannot resist. If the leader falls for (seduced by) it, the team easily succumbs into BAMS.
How does the leader/coach/manager resist the temptation? The most effective manager does not tell people what to do. The most effective manager asks the most effective questions.
- This is the problem we have been given to solve. How do we clearly understand it?
- In this mission, what are the decisions we have to make?
- What other problems do we have to solve to accomplish our mission?
- How will we divide up the work so we can most effectively accomplish our mission?
- Who has which skills to assume the roles we have defined?
- In each of those roles, what is the discretion of the team member to make decisions and solve problems?
- How does the output of each role impact the work of related roles?
- Where is cooperation required, coordination of resources, support of expertise?
- In what way must we work together, dependent on each other to reach the goal?
- How will we hold each other accountable? What permission do we give to other team members to help us be more effective team members?
- Where in this mission will we re-group to check-in to make sure we are on track?
- When, we check-in, what will be the criteria for effective performance?
This should get you started.
Here are the links to this series on Teal and Levels of Work.
Teal and Levels of Work
Hierarchy is Just a Shape
All Problems Are Not Created Equal
The Question of Accountability
Teal and Theory of Constraints
Hidden Hierarchy in a Self-Managed Team
Accountability and Authority
Behaviorists Without Children
BAMS and Teal
Back to Hierarchy, For a Reason
Most Teams are Functional, Few Are Accountable
Stratified Levels of Self-Organization
Discontinuous Levels and Hierarchy
How to Move a Team from BAMS to Work Mode