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How to build a strong team culture without leadership support

https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/strong-team-culture-unsupportive-leadership/

invisionapp.com

How to build a strong team culture without leadership support
Welcome to the next installment of Designer Confidential: a new column sharing practical advice on solving your toughest challenges like transforming your organization, creating a better-connected workflow between designers and developers, and building a great team. Submit your questions via this form, email us at designbetter@invisionapp.com, or tweet at us at @InVisionApp.

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Laszlo Bock

"It is within anyone’s grasp to be the founder and culture-creator of their own team, whether you are the first employee or joining a company that has existed for decades".

Laszlo Bock

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Purpose

The foundation of a good culture is clearly stating the purpose - why something is (or isn't) taking place.

While it is important to share the importance of a project, we should not fo...

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Roles & Responsibility

Clearly defining roles & responsibilities can help foster good communication. Then people can know exactly what they are accountable for and what not. They will also be able to identify whom to...

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Respect

Foster healthy dynamics early. People should feel free to voice their opinions, but you first need to make sure these conversations are built on respect.

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Rituals

Rituals are the glue for effective teams. They give everyone the space to be themselves and to have fun.

Some rituals should be required for all members, others can be decided upon as a team,...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Defining group norms

Defining group norms

Group norms are the set of informal and formal ground rules that specify how people interact. The rules help members of the group determine how to behave. Advantages of clear ground rules within teams:

  • Meetings and communication are more constructive.
  • Teammates have a shared value system and work together to achieve goals.
  • Everyone knows what is expected of them, and they live up to the expectations.
  • Conflicts can be resolved more effectively and with understanding.
  • New teammates can integrate more quickly.

Intentionally create group norms

Every team has rules, but few are intentionally crafted. This could have a negative impact. For example:

  • In a team of two, it's easy to create short back-and-forth emails. As more team members join, it becomes more complex keeping everyone in the loop. Emails may include reply-alls about weekend plans and real-time decision-making, leading to unread emails and lost information.
  • A single individual dictates the rules for the group. He may inadvertently communicate late at night that can affect an entire company.

How to create healthy group norms

Setting up norms is easiest when the team is first created. It may take a special meeting at the start, but it saves time and diminish problems down the road.

Shifting group norms in an established team is possible, too. Cultivate positive behavioral expectations on high-functioning teams.

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Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust. And trust the people you hire;
  • Hire people who cand write: communication is one of the most important parts of a remote team - good writers are critical to a team's success.
  • Hire people who are ok without a social workplace.

Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.

Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

However, learning is a skill that we can improve upon. The growing number of self-taught professionals is a testament to that.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.