Embracing diversity delivers many benefits but building a diverse team and culture which embraces different ways of thinking is not as straightforward as it may seem. It is human nature for leaders to build a team in their own likeness and this typically leads to furious agreement on ways of doing things.
For any leader, it's critical to be honest about your own strengths and gaps in knowledge, experience and expertise. While it may be more difficult to manage a group of people with very different ideas, the art of harnessing these different perspectives into a high performing business is a great outcome. Uncovered gems of talent can help a high-performing team operate at an even higher level.
Surrounding yourself with diversity and harnessing different perspectives need not only be confined to work. Quite often our varied and diverse experiences outside of work make us operate with greater effectiveness at work.
Even as you strive to build high-performing teams it is vital to build the capabilities of the people already working in the team and indeed colleagues from previous roles.
The key lesson I have learned about building capability over the years is while it is a significant responsibility for most business leaders, it is not always properly understood.
It goes well beyond simply giving employees the tools and training to execute their duties more effectively. There is a personal commitment to the process. It is essential leaders provide the right level of support to set the team up for success.
Here are seven ways to build capability in team members:
- Identify skill gaps and formulate a plan to address them
- Set up regular coaching meetings or reviews
- Consider shadowing SMEs
- Look at relevant courses
- Nominate a buddy to accelerate learning and extend the support network
- Embed learning by presenting insights and learnings to your team
- Celebrate new found knowledge by proactively demonstrating new skills.
No team can work as a group of individuals. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure there is good collaboration and teamwork amongst everyone in the business.
A good way to do this is to have clear expectations on both what needs to be achieved in a business and how it needs to be accomplished.