19 Jun 2013
The one sustainable competitive advantage that is largely untapped in American business is teamwork. When executive groups function as a team, all kinds of good results occur. Morale of the team members improves, which leads to better morale cascading down through the organization, which leads to higher levels of performance and higher retention. Innovation, the Holy Grail of business today, is enhanced greatly by teamwork. Accountability, that ever-elusive objective that the overwhelming majority of businesses struggle with, becomes much easier because the team assumes the majority of the burden of enforcement. Communication is greatly enhanced. Finally, better results are achieved. Organizational goals, which by definition are collective in nature, are far more easily achieved when pursued by collective team efforts. More revenue, higher margins, more profit, higher enterprise value, happier employees, and lower turnover.
Why, then, is executive team building not pursued by more companies. First, it’s hard to measure. Second, it’s hard to achieve. It can’t be bought. It has to be earned through courage, discipline, and emotional investment.
But the power of teamwork is indisputable. When people set aside their own individual needs for the collective good, they can accomplish what seemed impossible, and all other things in less time and at a lower cost.
Team building, though, must be done in context. The Chicago Bulls in their heyday did not learn teamwork in an executive board room. They learned it in the context of where they had to succeed – the basketball court. Similarly, executive teams can’t learn effective team work hanging from ropes or playing softball. They have to learn it in the context of their arena – the executive offices.
Our firm offers an extraordinarily powerful team building program for executive teams. It culminates in a day-and-a-half workshop where the team comes together and learns about the structure of, and begins to establish, powerful teamwork that operates very quickly to bring about a lasting competitive advantage. Give us a call at (800) 689-7941 to learn more about our program.
No surprise in the basic trend, but the severity is eye-opening. Private equity holding periods, calculated at exit year, increased from 3.4 years in 2008 to 5.8 years currently. An increase of over 70% in less than five years!