Teams perform at their best when they are well-bonded and jointly committed to a common goal…even more so when they are committed to a higher level of excellence.
But not everyone is down for that kind of commitment. And as we know, you don’t always get to pick your team.
No matter who you end up with, everyone values the same basic things at work – being treated as equal, valuable…being safe. We all need a place where our ideas will not be judged or dismissed. We all appreciate an environment where everyone is heard equally. We all want to be respected for our unique contribution.
The easiest way to build that is with a team creed.
A team creed is a set of statements that defines who you are, why you are here, what makes you special, and what you value.
It can include a team vision, a product vision, an ethos, team norms….we have a lot of different names for these statements, but they really answer a simple set of questions. “What do we stand for, and how do we behave?”
You can let the team agree on their own initial creed, but so often, new teams are soaking wet with the fear of the unknown, fear of sticking out, that’s it’s better to bring something to the table that captures these values. Focus on the values that no one could argue with – equal respect and floor time, no dismissing or judging ideas – and the team can refine it as they get more comfortable with the idea.
But eventually, if you want the commitment, they have to own it. If you do this right, you will be kicking off a team culture that evolves into a high-performance team.