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Team Building – Developing a Team Vision

Posted August 3rd, 2011
When trying to implement a team building programme, a useful starting point is to help the team appreciate what makes a team work to the same goals and principles. Core to this team building principle is the ability to develop a team vision.
Every team must have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve and how this fits into the wider organisational picture in order to work effectively. It helps if this is presented in a challenging and meaningful way, where individuals feel that they are contributing to a wider goal.
Without this sense of purpose individuals begin to work independently and become focused only on their own set tasks with little concern for the impact it might have on others in the team or organisation. I’m sure you can think of situations where somebody says they are, ‘just doing their job’ and yet the impact of their actions has a hugely detrimental effect on others.
Quite often in business the purpose and direction of an organisation is summed up with a vision statement. You may already be aware of some of the larger organisations vision statements from the past…
Land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. – NASA
PepsiCo’s responsibility is to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate – environment, social, economic – creating a better tomorrow than today. – PepsiCo
To be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile. –McDonald’s
To empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. – Microsoft
Now, you might not agree with these vision statements or even think they are clear, exciting or achievable. However, they do provide clarity and a common purpose to the organisation it was designed for. When trying to improve team building and develop teams, this is crucial.

The idea of using a vision statement can also be useful for teams within an organisation as it gives everyone a guiding principle that clearly emphasises the aims and focus of the team, while giving everyone a common purpose and goal.
A key benefit of a vision statement for a team is that it provides clarity when their might be confusion. For example; if a team member is presented with a difficult decision to make that could affect the rest of the team or the organisation as a whole, they can think to themselves, ‘Does this action align with our team vision?’ The answer will tell them how to progress.
A good example of how well someone buys into a vision statement and is clear on their role within an organisation relates to the NASA vision statement provided in the slide. The story goes that President Kennedy was on a tour of NASA headquarters and was being introduced to the staff. Upon leaving he walked passed a gentleman that was quite clearly a janitor holding a broom. In his usual polite way JFK said to the man, “…and what do you do here?” to which the janitor replied, ‘Sir, I’m putting a man on the moon.”

I think it’s clear that this guy had bought into the vision of his organisation!

This is a short excerpt from the Trainer Bubble training course materials for, Team Building, which can be purchased from our website at www.trainerbubble.com

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