Business owners often ask, “What makes for a great team and work environment?” Certainly the standard management concepts: alignment, qualified people, clear goals, focus, etc. All of these, and more, are necessary ingredients to making a company successful and great if you are managing small or very large companies. But if you want to succeed far beyond what is possible by applying broad managerial concepts to your company, then seek out or create METANOIC TEAMS. Not all teams can become metanoic. Therefore, in a company with thousands of employees you may be able to establish the presence of a handful of metanoic teams.

Wildly successful metanoic teams have a number of commonalities.

Each member of the team has a particular skill set much like collecting and fitting the pieces of a puzzle together, no redundancies in skills.  People on the team must have great chemistry with each other. No member of the team lets his or her ego create any friction. Credits and accomplishments are shared by all, even if one person was largely responsible for it. Each member must be highly passionate, highly committed, highly enthused and very willing to take huge risks to make a unique, innovative contribution to society.  Once a metanoic team is successfully formed, members will often express, “This is so interesting, I’d be willing to work for free!” It’s that desire to make a mark on society that becomes the prime driver,  after basic monetary needs are satisfied, of course. Though, clearly money is not the motivator.

A metanoic team willingly and spontaneously works well beyond normal working hours.

I was blessed during my management career to have worked with quite a few metanoic teams. The outcome was the same each time: superior results, far in excess of expectations. Great excitement among team members when the impossible dream is fulfilled.

What of the boss?

Here are some of the most important roles for the boss:

  1. define a meaningful, significant, goal that is almost impossible.
  2. clearly link that goal to something much greater than company profits. Link it to a noble, proud contribution, if possible.
  3. develop a clear value proposition that is so compelling it creates high levels of interest for team members, makes them become almost obsessive.
  4. clear the obstacles no matter how challenging it is to do so, no matter how risky to your career. This sounds confrontational but doesn’t have to be.
  5. raise the importance of the project in the eyes of executives and the fellow employees of the team members. Publicize the effort to popularize it.
  6. support your team without question. Try to avoid becoming a barrier yourself.
  7. genuinely trust and genuinely respect each team member.
  8. let the team set its own pace, team objectives, methodologies, etc. Once you form the team it must be allowed to become self-managing, spontaneous. You have little to do beyond the guidelines outlined here.
  9. get in and dig in. The occasional note, walk-by, or compliment won’t cut it. You may have to learn something out of your comfort zone to be able  to help the team as another “pair of hands” and not just a mouthpiece.

My final comment has to do with rewarding the individual members of the metanoic team. When the outcome is fulfilled and when it is highly successful, the members of the team must be liberally rewarded. I don’t mean the shoestring-type of rewards that companies often encourage their 1st-, and 2nd-line managers to do.  I am advising of substantial, impacting, high-recognition rewards such as major compensation increases, or serious job promotions.