TEAM MISSION STATEMENTSWritten by Rhoberta Shaler
A team is not a team unless it knows why it’s a team. Teams according to Jon Katzenbach* are "small groups of people with complementary skills committed to a common purpose, approach, and performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable". The first thing that small group of people has to do is to establish that common purpose.
A team purpose is usually shaped in response to a request, opportunity or demand from management. If you ARE management, then your purpose as a team may be more urgent, more open-ended, and more difficult to capture. The parameters of a team purpose are usually framed by performance requirement of company. If you are a peanut-dicer maker, your team will likely have a mission statement that will enhance production, market or function of peanut-dicers. Pinpointing mission is essential. Only then can every team member focus clearly.
Clear statement of purpose establishes character, rationale and performance challenges for team, but allows for creativity and 'wiggle room' for team to set specific goals, timing and approach. Most teams do not spend sufficient time defining their purpose. It is somehow assumed that everyone knows it! Take, for example, software development industry. They are known for "Fire, Ready, Aim" approach to creating software. There is even a cartoon that shows a project manager telling his team, "You go upstairs and start writing code. I'll go and find out what they want it to do!" On a more serious note, research shows that much time, energy and money is saved in technology industry by working groups and teams that take time to explore and clarify their requirements. In fact, statistics suggest that spending at least 40% of project time is efficient and effective! Compelling information, isn't it?
Put Up Some Stop SignsWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
We rush to and from work or other activities. Appointments and commitments fill our daily hours and we fall into bed exhausted but find sleep hard to come. Our nerves are tensed because there is so much more to do and so little time. Tempers flare and news media calls it “road rage” or “domestic violence.” Our children feel stress at an early age and many of our older adult population never get to find and enjoy their “golden years.”
Exactly what is happening to our daily lives to cause all this unprecedented hyperactivity and tenseness? We certainly have advanced in knowledge and ability from previous generations, but we still feel a nagging feeling to find real truth. There are enough entertainment toys to fill our homes with noise, recorded laughter, and music to anesthesize our minds into a temporary respite from our worries and our fears. We want to leave our children a legacy of peace around world, yet we nit pick each other into a frenzy of hurt feelings and lashbacks. There is definitely something wrong and even science, as it progresses forward with new discoveries and insights, can’t seem to be able to quiet our hearts, and fill our souls with peace and tranquility.
No, science and technology can’t do it. Your co-workers and friends can’t achieve it for you. You’re it. Just you - you’re only one who can put brakes on this run-away activity cycle and desperate attempt at everyone and everything around you to pull and tug in different directions and to leave you frazzled and dazed. Your family