(part 1) — (Part 2 is here)
“Meaning exists in the gaps between things, not the things themselves.”
The best teams are more than a collection of players; they form a cohesive unit. Moreover, that unit is treated as a single and powerful entity that other groups can describe without hesitation.
In the most basic terms, a team’s identity is who they want to be and what they intend to achieve. This is not something that can be glossed over.
Research indicates that Western cultures generally focus more on individualism and less on collectivism. However, the massive change brought about by Covid-19 was an abrupt reminder that there is great power when we work together and stay connected. A connection to something shared — a mission, a goal, much like the Pole Star — can allow people to focus on something more significant than the momentary pain of transition and uncertainty.
Creating a team identity will help to motivate team members and make them loyal to each other from a work perspective. Some of the world’s great companies follow this practice of creating a team identity.
You can encourage team members to build a new logo outlining their beliefs. In addition, they can assign a team name. This enables them to identify themselves as one team.
The members can associate with the team’s name and follow a shared value system for all work-related activities.
People who have been on teams without a full-fledged identity can understand.
Team identity is essential because it is not only a matter of how your team conducts itself but also how it thinks of itself and how, upon reflection, it will measure success.
Sometimes teams are very upfront about deciding what kind of team they want to be. This is probably the best way for new teams to seriously establish themselves for long-term existence or be genuinely competitive in their ultimate scene, especially those with members who don’t know each other very well.
The Scrum Master or Agile Coach could survey the members on several topics, whether formally or informally. Specifically, ask about their goals, style of play, and what they envision the team being. Using self-reflection is also an excellent idea for players to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
I will present two techniques that might help to identify them:
I) The 4 C of the team’s identity
- To clarify the team’s mission and vision. If you don’t have a team mission and vision, have your team collaborate and create them.
- For a specific project, clarify goals and the purpose.
- Identify the level of engagement of your team members.
- Encourage engagement by showing yours.
- Tell your team why it (or the project) is important to you and the team.
____________e.g., Ask each team member to answer the following questions:
____________* Why is this team (or project) important to you?
____________ * What do you hope to gain as a team member?
- Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your team.
____________e.g., have your team members each answer these questions:
____________* What specific skills, knowledge, or expertise do you bring to this team (or project)?
____________* In your opinion, what is your role in this team (or project)?
- Make sure you allow your team members to voice their concerns, comments, or questions.
____________e.g., Now is the time to ask the following questions:
____________* Do you have any concerns about teamwork, the project in progress or the team itself?
____________* What could we, as a team, improve?
Actually, I will describe the second tool in the next post very soon ;-)