Business Management: Developing Your Team Resources

To best determine the ideal type of team and how it can help your entity or organization requires an assessment of a number of things. First and foremost, you have to determine what your goals are, not only as an overall business, but also for the specific team that you are considering creating. Much like how Boards of Directors have committees, a business can have numerous teams and those teams can have sub-teams when necessary and appropriate. Consequently, establishing your goal for each specific team is critical to the success of your organization or business.

Once you determine what your goals are, you will need to determine whether you have all of the resources that you will need available to you. The resources that will be necessary might include money but may also include the amount of personnel, facilities or space, employees or team members with the right experience, education, or other abilities, and so forth. Depending upon your resources at hand, combined with your resources available to procure whatever else you need, reevaluate your team goals to determine if it is genuinely and realistically possible for you to achieve your goals with the resources available to you. If not, you may need to change the goals for your team if you are unable to obtain other necessary resources. Forcing a team to work towards achieving a goal that is unrealistic not only will defeat the purpose of the team, but also will undermine everything that the team has worked to build both individually and collectively.

Before you lose all hope due to limited resources, get creative about ways to obtain those necessary resources. Multidisciplinary teams, for example, are often able to help members achieve their goals with a lower expenditure of resources. To determine whether it might be possible for you to use a similar type of team to achieve your goals, you may find it prudent to first examine and determine the stakeholders involved in achieving whatever goals you have set for your team. A stakeholder is simply a general term used for any individual or group that has a vested interest in the same goal. For example, consider the automotive industry. Although there is high competition, different automobile manufacturers are still going to have some of the same goals; while each company wants to net the most profit, for any of them to do that there must be a need for automobiles as well as resources available for people to purchase automobiles. Consequently, when it comes to need and the ability to develop a customer base, two companies will actually have some common vested interests. In addition, they are not the only ones, stockholders of the company will share those same goals because it makes money for them, communities will want the same goals because manufacturing companies provide employment opportunities, and so forth.

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Likewise, a soccer coach may want his or her team to win. However, to be successful, they cannot be the only ones who care about winning. Players have to care, for example, as does the community (for a professional team) and parents or families of the players (such as among underage players) have to be interested as well. If you consider a peewee soccer league, a team is most likely to be successful when it has a multiple support network. This network might include a caring and involved coach, players who want to win and are willing to work for it, parents who are supportive and will help their children practice, community members to financially support the teams, and so forth, all of these people are shareholders.

Once you know who your shareholders are likely to be, then you can start thinking creatively to solve any resource problems you may be experiencing. People are often astonished at how frequently people will give when something is asked of them, most particularly (of course) when they care about the subject. Consider the issue of child sexual abuse. State agencies such as Child Protective Services; obviously have a vested interest in preventing such abuse as well as ensuring the safety of children who have been abused. Local law enforcement wants to prevent abuse as well as to obtain the necessary information and evidence to investigate any claims of abuse that violate the law. The local district attorney wants to prevent this type of abuse while ensuring that perpetrators are caught and successfully prosecuted. The community as a whole also wants to prevent this kind of abuse because no one wants child molesters in their midst and everyone appreciates that victimization of children in this way is heinous.

Each one of these groups has a stake in the same goal but none of them are able to prevent, investigate, gather evidence, and convict abusers on their own. Obviously, it is possible for each of these groups to work independently and achieve some measure of their goal. However, they are far more likely to be successful when they work together as a cohesive team. Of course, they cannot all work together all of the time; consequently, a multidisciplinary team may be formed that brings together select individuals from each of those groups to streamline communication, identify and solve problems, address common issues or emerging threats, and so forth. Even though each individual works at a different place, they can still be a powerful team when they work together and it allows each entity that is represented to achieve more of their goals while spending less of their resources than if they all acted independently. When it comes to recognizing limited resources, really consider who your shareholders are and work with them to find a solution where resources can be shared and become larger and more powerful together; this is a prime example where the whole unit is more powerful than the sum of its separate parts.

At this point, you may have noticed or considered that determining the goals for your team and the shareholders of your goal may be more complex than you may have anticipated. It is entirely possible that you may not have these answers on your own. In fact, it happens all the time where an individual or group of individuals see a need and want to meet it but may not know the best way to do so. They may not be aware of current resources or teams already addressing the need, they may not consider the likelihood of finding shareholders who want to meet that need as well, and so forth.

For example, an individual may have an idea about something that would be nice and help out someone in need; consider a hairdresser who realizes that people who are homeless have a difficult time obtaining employment when they have overgrown or out of control hair. That hairdresser may then speak with some of their coworkers or friends who agree that providing homeless people with haircuts is a great idea and decide that they should form a nonprofit organization to do so. They figure that this is a wonderful concept, one that can directly help people, and one that does not necessarily require a tremendous amount of money or time and these people would be right about all of that. However, this can also be a lot more complex than they anticipate. Many times, a team will invest a fair amount of time and even money before discovering that there is already a program (or 2, or 10) in their area that is providing the same or similar service. After all, new ideas are hard to come by. In New York City, there may be enough need for an 11th organization that provides these services but Cache, Oklahoma is unlikely to need more than one program helping with grooming for a pre-job hunt. Consequently, not only might there not be enough need, but also there is unlikely to be additional funding since local foundations and other potential shareholders are probably already working with the existing program. Before you know it, the time and money that has been invested towards this new organization has been wasted.

However, that does not mean that those people cannot still help provide these services, it simply means that they may need to work within the already existing system to do so. Alternatively, they may find, when talking with area shareholders or organizations providing the service that they may need to fine tune their idea rather than abandon it completely. Perhaps a homeless shelter has hairdressers come in and give haircuts to the men and women so they can look for jobs but they do not have anyone who can arrange for haircuts for children. While this may seem less important because unkempt hair on a child would not have any effect on the family getting a job, it actually can be extremely beneficial to the children and the community as a whole. A homeless child getting a haircut on a regular basis can generate a tremendous effect on the self-esteem of the child who does not want other kids in their class to know that they are homeless. That self-esteem helps meet the psychological needs of the child, which, in turn, helps the child focus better at school and develop goals and a sense of pride, regardless of circumstances outside of their control.

If you are having trouble determining what your goals should be, or who might share your goals and become shareholders, do some research. Talk to people. Some people are so possessive over their idea that they are unwilling to ask for help or to share information however, that is no way to successfully run a team of any kind. There is a reason that community exists as a concept when information is shared, everyone becomes more empowered. That does not mean that you have to give up your secret sauce recipe, but it does mean that you should recognize that the knowledge and experience of other people can help guide you on your journey and the knowledge and experience you have can do the same for them.