Set your team up for success (week 3 – 4)

work smarter

Your focus area for weeks 3 and 4 is ensuring that everyone has a clear, shared understanding of why you collectively exist – the collective purpose.

Spend 30-40 minutes creating your plan now, then follow it for the next 2 weeks, everyday.


Reading time: 10 minutes

Your collective purpose – Why you exist

What to do

You’re going to be agreeing the collective purpose i.e. why you exist. You’re going to be having a discussion and getting input from everyone. You will end up with a short purpose that means something to everyone.

Why do it

Without this you’re just a bunch of names on an organisation chart with a single leader/manager. A group without a purpose is just that – a group:

  • A clear purpose will provide a uniting sense of direction
  • It will give everyone something to focus on whenever you’re talking about roles
  • It will be motivational – something that gives everyone pride and satisfaction in being part of
  • It will give you something you can ultimately review collective performance against

How to do it

There are 3 steps to take with this. Read these through, look at the example and then create your own plan.

1. Get the positioning right

Firstly read this guide It helps you be clear on why you’re doing this. You’re also going to have to find another time to get everyone together face to face or on the phone. 30 – 60 minutes should be enough.

2. A tool for the job

You’re going be sending out this tool to the team You’re going to get everyone’s input to start with. You will need to consider your options for coming to a decision e.g. keep getting everyone’s input until you reach consensus or you with one or two others taking responsibility for fine tuning what you come up with.

Prepare a covering note or what you want to say.

3. Getting input and deciding

Give or send the tool out to everyone – either the link or the downloaded version. Tell everyone that you’re really interested in their answers to 1 and 2 on the tool and you would like to collect these from everyone. Explain to everyone what will happen next i.e. that you will share back all the answers to everyone together with your first draft of the final version for comment.

Example plan

You’re nearly ready to get started with getting shared clarity on team purpose. To help you along the way, we’ve completed an example plan for this stage –team purpose. Read through it, get some ideas from it and then create your own plan.

1. Getting the positioning right

Find a time to get everyone together again – face to face or on the phone.

Then for yourself read the guide

You’re going to get input from everyone on what the collective, uniting purpose is. Consider the benefits of how you will come to a final decision. Do you want the final say, do you want to work on a final version with one or two others or do you want to keep involving everyone throughout?

2. A tool for the job

You will be sharing this tool with everyone and getting their answers to parts 1 and 2.

If you’re working face to face with everyone – which is ideal – you can have a discussion. Otherwise you can just collect the individual answers. Prepare what you’re going to say up front – i.e. repeating some of what you said in weeks 1 and 2, and explaining that this is a first, important step

3. Getting input and deciding

  • Remind everyone that you said you would be working on collective performance
  • Share the tool and collect the answers
  • Explain why this is important and what the benefits are
  • Explain what you plan to do next
  • Explain that you can all use this clear, united, shared description of why you exist to give you a collective sense of direction and purpose

Coaching tips

The first responses you get back from everyone may be very bland statements of what the team does. You might need to talk about the purpose being aspirational or inspirational. You might need to explain that the achievement of this purpose needs to be a source of personal and professional pride and satisfaction for everyone ie “I was proud to be part of the team that…” You might need to give examples. And then you might need to repeat the exercise a second time to improve the quality!

I'm ready to start

Ok, it’s now time to create your own.

Put your training plan together