Why teams fail

What makes teams fail?

Teams that function the best necessarily have access to the broadest range of possible ideas and potential paths, which is only possible if it’s okay to contribute ideas that are different or new. If members of a team are allowed only to work with ideas and solutions that toe the party line or stay within a narrow range, teams fail more often than not.

The influence of the boss

We live in a culture of imitation, you “sign employees’ paychecks,” and determines opportunities at work. The passionate excitement of a founder-led business can understandably and easily contribute to creating a narrow scope of acceptable ideas on a team. This limits what the team can do.

Hire people who say “no”

So in addition to an employee having specific skills, your teams will perform better when you support constructive dissent from the norm with employees who can say bring ideas that are not the same as yours. This quality can take many forms – “offering a different view” or “pushing back” or “highlighting the facts” – but in all cases, it is a different opinion, logic or perspective that has material bearing on the work.

It’s dangerous for a founder to hire people who agree with you all the time, or even more often than not. You want different ideas, because some of those ideas will be better than yours, and combing ideas usually creates a better final one. You want your employees to see you realistically – both your skills and your limitations.

When a team is working, ask yourself: does their approach mimic mine? Have I created the environment for them to approach this differently than I do?

Give your teams room to run.