Five steps to an exemplary team

Jan 17, 2017 by Edward L. Blach, DVM, MS, MBA

Healthy practices have invested in building effective teams.  Building an effective team can be done by focusing on 5 basic principles.  They include:

  1. Define your objectives.  Decide what you want to accomplish, and communicate them clearly to those you will hold accountable for doing so.  
  2. Get the right people in the right positions.  Just having good people, the right people, is very important.  However, they must also be in the right roles.  You must identify the people, and assess their skill sets and capabilities.  Then, get them in the right position to accomplish your goals.  This often requires your willingness to remove some people who aren't right or in the right positions.  And most practice leaders struggle with removing ineffective team members.
  3. Assign leadership for each task or project by designating and empowering a single point of contact or person to take ownership and responsibility.  This is probably the simplest and most effective habit to establish to begin to accomplish better implementation of anything you want to accomplish in your practice.  Identify the right leader, and empower them.
  4. Define and communicate your culture and leadership style.  You might know what you want, but unless you document it briefly in writing, you won't be able to effectively communicate what you expect and how you want your team members to communicate and implement.  This document will help establish your culture by giving direction and permission for your team to get going.
  5. Develop an efficient reporting and mentoring structure.  An efficient and effective reporting structure is crucial to achieving desired results.  The leader of any team needs a limited number of 'direct reports' to report to them.  These direct reports will be those who are held accountable to deliver the results established by the leadership.

With this process complete, you are ready to implement!  You've defined what you want to accomplish, placed the right people in the right positions, decided who will lead, how you expect them to communicate, and refined the accountability structure to achieve results.

It is time to mplement!

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