The board of directors and the investors in a company rarely get an opportunity to see a team function as a system, as a whole. They may become familiar with certain subsets of the team when they are in contact with the leadership and the management, but they rarely see the entire team working together and rarely without the team knowing they are watching.
When I work with a CEO, I sometimes get a chance to be a voyeur and watch the team functioning without the team being aware of my presence. This opportunity provides a keen and unique insight.
Today, I had such an opportunity. In this instance, I came away bowled over by the quality of the performance.
Here is what I observed:
1. As a complete process, the team operated at a high level of performance. They were demonstrably better than peer organizations.
2. The team was visibly interdependent and worked with each other. Clearly, this was neither novel nor unique to this day.
3. Looking at the individual team members, I would not have thought them remarkable, but as I watched them several things jumped out:
a. The team, at the individual level, was sympatico and had a native desire to work together.
b. Whoever had hired this team had done a fabulous job. I spent some time watching individual team members and across the board they were performers.
c. The team work was neither forced nor snarky. It was genuine and natural.
So, I spoke to the manager of the unit and we had a very nice chat. I quizzed him as to his hiring practices.