We share with you some of the reflections we shared in the book CONECT, a practical guide to transforming team culture. You can download the book here. Today, business leaders and team leaders face great challenges: How to attract, motivate and keep talent? How to increase profitability, how to achieve sustainability and meet the needs of different stakeholders? How to increase innovation, creativity, productivity, quality and customer satisfaction? How to foster responsibility, transparency and trust? How can more stimulating and productive meetings be held? How do we manage conflicts? How can we improve cooperation between teams in different places and countries? When a new group is formed to perform a task, there is often a certain level of tension among its members. Questions arise such as: «Who are my teammates? Who is the leader? What can I bring to this group? What can I do to be recognized? Will I adapt?» Normally, these reflections take a lot of time and energy away from the group. After a while, when the answers are known, the group can focus its energy on the important questions. Where does your team focus its energy? BUILD TRUST Working the culture in our teams will have clear rewards in terms of commitment, performance, trust and performance. Regarding trust, Stephen Covey sets out in his book «Speedof Trust» its impact on business results. Trust influences two variables, speed and operational cost. When trust is lost, speed decreases and cost increases. When trust increases, speed also increases and cost decreases. It’s that simple, real and predictable. Investing time in «connecting» people to team challenges, to each other and to stakeholders is vital to successful performance. Creating a team culture that allows you to operate from a shared vision and common values builds the foundation for building trust and achieving greater productivity. Commitment is greatest when team members share a vision and certain values. Sharing values generates trust and that trust generates in people more freedom and personal responsibility for their own actions. This freedom awakens greater creativity and a sense of purpose. True power lies in the ability to generate trust and not in the ability to control (Richard Barrett, 1998). ALIGNING VALUES Traditional organisational research has highlighted strategic technological, financial and organisational aspects and has relegated aspects linked to human development, despite the fact that it is the motivation and creativity of human beings that generates results. (Max Rapp Ricciardo, 2001). We usually «pay more attention to rational and logical issues, such as risk analysis, plans and structures, because they are tangible and visible. These issues are simpler to apply. However, there is an intangible and subjective world that we have to learn to identify. We all have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs that we want to achieve. Based on the thousands of cultural diagnoses made, we can clearly see that many cultures focus heavily on financial and operational effectiveness issues. However, our personal values focus more on adding value, making a difference and creating a better world. CTT (Cultural Transformation Tools) diagnostics have also shown that there are a high number of potentially limiting values (blame seeking, bureaucracy, control, exploitation, corruption) that have a negative impact on culture and outcomes. The fact that personal and organizational values are not aligned creates a stressful situation that, in the long term, often has an impact on our physical and mental health. While we are tempted to address this misalignment of values through the application of processes and control, these issues are really resolved when they are addressed directly «on the ground» by leaders and team members. This is achieved by integrating proactive and systematic work on the culture and on its own intangible assets into the team’s agenda. In doing so we will release the greatest potential and create teams capable of and willing to reinvent themselves. It is necessary that each of those involved go to work every day carrying their «Complete Self» to «connect» their individual needs with the needs of the organization. This connection establishes the «psychological contract» of each person with the team or organization in which they work. If your personal needs meet the needs of the organization, your psychological contract will be very strong. This will give more meaning to your work, commit more energy and commitment on your part, and thus generate better results. It is also vital to build a healthy work environment that does not stress our employees into exhaustion. Applying the principles and tools presented in this manual will create a healthier workplace from both a mental and emotional perspective. When making decisions that affect the team, we must take into consideration its impact on the physical and psychological health of its members, as well as the influence on their performance, willingness to compromise and personal growth. TO KEEP ILLUSION AND COMMITMENT ALIVE. We talked about the benefits of working – on the ground and day to day – on the factors that determine internal cohesion, trust and team alignment. Many teams and organizations begin to walk this path with very good intentions; they create statements of mission, vision and values and this generates enthusiasm and hope to co-create a better future for the team. It would be unfair not to mention that there are risks as well. Without meaningful monitoring and motivational activities, people can quickly lose interest and become even cynical about the process. For this reason we advise leaders: «Unless you make a long-term commitment, please do not start the process. Half-engagement can be damaging. Very often we see impressive phrases on company walls proclaiming their vision and values. We also see people passing in front of them every day ignoring them because leaders don’t lead by example. It’s like getting excited about redecorating a room in your house: you buy wallpaper, paint and brushes, but then you leave everything in a corner and never finish the job. The materials become a reminder of how dirty and messy the room really looks and of the lack of commitment. If this has happened in your organization, you may have heard your colleagues say phrases like: «We tried to put all that teamwork into practice and align the team culture but it didn’t work. If you have made the decision to facilitate change in your team you will need: commitment, knowledge and courage to move forward and create the new. Let’s look in detail at these three «Critical Success Factors» of Cultural Transformation: Commitment This process requires commitment, discipline, as well as time and energy. Because each team is unique, there is no single correct answer about how the process will work and how quickly you will begin to see the benefits. There will undoubtedly be challenges and setbacks along the way, but you must maintain your commitment and tenacity to stay focused. Knowledge Leaders and change agents may become paralyzed or not know where to start. If you feel that you can’t move forward, you can always ask for outside help and this may be the best thing to do. Another possible option is to ask your team members for help and have them wait for you. Involving the team in the design and implementation of change will generate a strong commitment and the results will be more beneficial. Leaders who can admit who don’t know something usually manage to create new levels of respect and trust. Showing vulnerability and asking for help requires courage. Courage Organizations are designed to get the results they get. If we want to improve results it is necessary to challenge the status quo and generate something different. This means that you must have the courage to question the beliefs in your organization. The transformation of organizations begins with the personal transformation of leaders. Organizations are not transformed, people are. If you want to know more about Cultural Transformation Processes, write to this email To become specialists in Cultural Transformation Processes, we invite you to learn about our International Certifications, Cultural Transformation Tools and Systemic Cultural Transformation.]]>