By Royce Murcherson
In the last blog, I talked about collaboration as part of an overall team structure that helps colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes. Communication is also a key component in collaboration, for without communication there can be no real collaboration. And without coordination, the fruits of communication and collaboration are lost.
The Three ‘C’ Model: COMMUNICATION * COLLABORATION * COORDINATION
What is coordination? It is the glue that holds the model together. Coordination within teams is simply ensuring the job gets done. If you find yourself in the role of ‘team leader’, you must ask yourself two questions. What is my role and what will it take to get the job done?
- The team leader or team coordinator serves as a primary liaison between team members.
- The team coordinator is responsible for making sure team members are keenly aware of their specific roles and function within the group.
- Team coordinators are also tasked with the authority to make critical decisions when the team cannot arrive at a consensus.
Think of a team coordinator as a coach in a team sport. The team is made up of individuals each with particular skills or talents. The team coordinator must channel all of these talents into an effective force that will bring a project to completion.
The Team Coordinator Must:
- Have a long term vision of the work to be done
- Know each team member
- Define team roles
- Ensure the team has a common goal
- Make sure all team members know their assignments
- Leverage resources and specific skills of the team
- Create a workable plan
- Have the correct tools available for the team to complete their tasks
- Encourage effective communication among the team
- Conduct periodic checkpoints to determine progress against deliverables.
A lack of coordination within a project team can decrease productivity, complicate processes and delay the completion of projects. Below are some common signs:
- Duplication of Work A usual sign of a lack of coordination within a project team is redundancy. Redundancy is caused by a lack of communication. With redundancy, an organization will spend double the efforts, materials and time to produce the same item twice. Redundancy typically results from the poor coordination of a project team.
- Lost Information Teams must effectively share information to function at an optimal level. When this information is not readily available as needed within the team, the lack of information can create a cascading effect that will damage the team. Lost information can lead to delays.
- Delays on Deliverables – Deliverables are the building blocks of an overall project. Deliverables can be reports, documents, and software upgrades, anything that contributes to the successful delivery of the project to the customer. One of the signs that team lacks coordination is called ‘delay’ and delays on deliverables can cause a project to miss a completion date.
The advantages of team coordination are realistic. Roles, responsibilities and deadlines are assigned. Informal coaching and mentoring takes place which benefits the group. It ensures a consolidation of work that can be measurable, attainable, and time constrained. It provides a single access point of communication between the team coordinator and business executives.
For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:
Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013
Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-238-6382.
by Royce Murcherson
In previous posts, I have always stressed the fundamentals of persuasive business writing found in my book, The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. But lately, an important book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg has come to my attention. It’s an honest, frank work that focuses on an untapped talent pool in the business world. It continues offering vital information on how these talented individuals can become leaders, champions, and partners. Who are the people that make up this untapped resource? Women.
At first sight, you might think this is just another self-help book full of advice you’ve already heard. I did, until I spoke with a female executive in a fortune 500 corporation. I suddenly realized a simple truth. Chances are many women in the business world have lived the challenges presented in Sheryl Sandberg’s book and may not have realized that there are reasonable and available options for overcoming these challenges.
What does all of this come down too? It comes down to women being assertive and understanding the value of internal networking. It comes down to collaboration and communication. There are companies that encourage women to seek a more visible role as senior leaders.
In my conversation with the executive who is currently involved in a women’s internal networking group, I asked, what is the biggest value? She responded, “It’s the opportunity to meet with my peers, other women, and be sponsored by senior leaders who are also women.” She went on to explain how rewarding it was to be in a group with like-minded high performing women with ambition. But most importantly, she stressed the importance of having ‘confidants’, other women who share the same goals and challenges.
I pressed for more specific reasons on how women could benefit from internal networking circles. She said, “…it gives you the opportunity to meet peers from other areas of the company and expand your awareness of opportunities within the organization.”
As I understand it, there are three big advantages to networking circles:
- You build relationships.
- You are able to increase awareness of greater leadership opportunities.
- You build knowledge with specific discussions on issues that help women to increase their effectiveness and exposure in the workplace.
Being a teacher, I needed more examples of real-time value, so I asked her what chapters in the book have ‘stayed’ with you, that is, the biggest simplest rules to remember? Quickly, she said chapters two and four.
Chapter two according to Sandberg is time to “Sit at the Table”. So what does this chapter boil down too I asked? She said, “…from what I have learned from reading the book is that women should take their proper place and not defer to eat the children’s table, be assertive.”
She went on to talk about chapter four, “It’s a Jungle Gym, not a Ladder.” I asked her to elaborate and she spoke about yet another great metaphor, the jungle gym. Apparently, the author wants women to understand that the way to success is not always a straight line. Lateral moves are good, but sometimes backwards moves can be made to build your skill set and advance.
So, if someone were to ask me what was the value in sitting down and talking to someone actively involved in a women’s group whose intent is to expand their reach professionally and personally, I would have to say this. Think Chess.
It’s all about strategy and patience. Be strategic and recognize that women represent the great untapped pool of talent. Be strategic and do something about organizing this vast pool. Be patient and know that knowledge building and forging relationships may take time, but the rewards can be great.
In his review of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group stated, “…women in leadership roles is good for business as well as society.”
For a more expanded discussion on workplace etiquette, look forward to further posts, and see my book, Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. (Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013)
Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.