You may have already said or heard : “It doesn’t make any sense to delegate this task, it’s going to take me longer, it’s faster if I do it myself.” In the end, we do not take the time to delegate and we find ourselves in the same perpetual situation. Consequently, we never get out of the infernal cycle of work overload. Than we stop progressing and go further.
Probably all of us have a small tendency to prioritise the immediate speed sensation over the long term average speed of the team. «To go fast, go alone, to go far go together !» & «The time is the key».
If you work as a team, there’s a good chance you’ll have to adjust your speed to be on the same wavelength. By doing so you’ll go further.
What could influence your choice ?
For each situation and objective a different approach. Please challenge your autopilot, once in a while, and ask yourself questions with time in mind. Look further than the present moment, visualize the next!
- What is my objective?
- Is it to go temporarily quickly or to go far in the long term?
- Which one is more important?
- Can I afford to go a little slower in the short term to gain longer-term speed?
Before answering these questions, be aware of some concepts.
How to choose between leaving alone or as a team?
Again, it’s all about balance and timing!
It is important to identify individual elements and group elements. These change over time as the maturity of the teams also changes over time. Therefore, it is important to have systems in place to identify evolution.
To answer this question group vs individual, it is important to identify a few elements :
- Are the objectives individual or group oriented ?
- Period, lifespan of the team. If a team exists only over a short time, working to improve on the average speed of a team is not necessarily as useful.
- Individual and team roles and responsibilities. For example, setting up a system or process is a team activity, while the documentation of one’s own work is an individual responsibility.
- Realize that dynamics change over time. For example, a team that starts working together will not be able to put everything together as a team. Start on your own, start alone sometimes, to find the initial road, but recognize that you will need to bring the team along at one point. Don’t go too further because like creating a road in the jungle with your machet , if you leave for a long time the forest would growth back and your team won’t be able to follow you.
The speed of a team
You can never go faster than the average speed of a team.conclusion from the book : THE GOAL
As soon as you try to go faster than the comfortable speed of a team you will feel discomforts. This discomfort will slow you down much more than you think in the long run. Hidding it will not help you to idenfify the treasors of what to improve in your systems.
I like to use this image to explain the situation. Imagine your idea, your project, your choice to travel as a sandwich. A sandwich in which you put ingredients you like. When you work as a team, two or more people, you offer this sandwich to others. The action of eating the sandwich is to realize the project/idea.
There are a few choices that are possible.
- You offer the sandwich by describing it and introducing it to others and wait until they decide to eat it themselves.
- Or you decide to take the sandwich and shove it through your partners’ mouths.
In situation 2, you will feel speed as the sandwich is in the other’s mouth, but did they want to eat it and were they ready to eat it. At best, the person loves the sandwich and will eat it, but may not have liked to have it imposed to them. This rhythm will have an impact on the quality of your relationship. In the long term, this approach will certainly not help effective teamwork.
Worst-case scenario 2, the person cannot eat the sandwich, either the bite is too big, the taste is not good, or worse, the person is allergic to an ingredient and has an allergic shock. In all these cases, the speed will be greatly slowed. You will have to clean 1 and 2 make another sandwich, as they would have probably spit it out.
In situation 1, it will feel like you’re wasting time waiting for the person to decide to eat the sandwich. In reality, this period is necessary to allow adjustments. For the success of the project and the creation of an effective team adjustments are required it allow to be on the same wavelength, be synchronized.
Think about it! It is not possible to go faster than the speed of the team.
How to continuously improve the speed of your team?
If we take the example of the sandwich, we can easily perceive some interesting elements :
- Know everyone’s preferences and tastes. In companies, this means working method preferences, quality of work, communication preferences…
- Propose projects and ideas by always allowing a transition period. This period is essential in order to get feedback and adjustments. I call this period the transition period. Note that during this period the physical phenomenon from the 2 beat will potentially by noticeable. If you are interested in the topic, check out this article (forthcoming article)
- Identifies the processes and teamwork systems in affect. For exemple : the design of the sandwich, its realization, its presentation, and its management. When working on systems, we help increase the average speed of the team. (This topic will be part of another article)
- Use the Time Distribution Guide, see below this article I’m proposition a time distribution guide to help constantly balance the use of your time. This guide helps to better distribute your time that will lead to long-term improvements.
Again time is the key. Individual speed does not guarantee the speed of the team. Sometimes it’s better to feel like you’re slowing down to move faster. Never neglect to work on team speed.Taking the time to work on the effectiveness of a team there is nothing better to go further and faster in the long run.
If like this article and want to read more about how time is the key read my article on Great leader are time traveller or the one on wavelength. I also invite you to ask me my time distribution guide which I think is the basis for good time management for those who want to go further in life. To be seen at the bottom of this article to make the request.