Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Transformed work environments, this final installment addresses changing the paradigm of teams working together, Part 3. Communities vs. Committees The remote work environment makes it tough to lead a committee, but this is our new reality. Being a committee leader always felt to me, to be the equivalent of being a hall monitor given pseudo power. Committees bring cross-functional leaders together, giving them guidance and some freedom, but ultimately a group can struggle to have autonomy and an equal voice. Any challenges such as inadequate or missing leadership, partnership, poor communication, or conflicting priorities can create further obstacles for the group members. The result is often a waste of time, resources, and a potential lack of buy-in, productivity, and even lost profit. Most people get excited about being on a committee but as the saying goes, ”Teamwork makes the Dreamwork”, joining and leading a committee remotely has its challenges! Committees that work tend to replicate communities. Communities begin with people who have a clear understanding of then common goal or intention. Schools, neighborhoods, social or volunteer groups are examples of where respect and an emotional connection exist. Not just a relationship of convenience, communities build constituencies. Encouragement exist between members and while disagreements still occur it is in everyone's best interest to find a resolution. Addressing problems, influencing others, and implementing a strategy for the benefit of all, takes priority. Important practices to building Communities with a holistic approach include the following: 1. Discover Encourage everyone to share their point of view on the issue at hand. Work around the group to identify key opportunities and responsibilities. Here the group is empowered to share equally their thoughts on the challenges. Clear intent is key to effectively approaching an issue. Giving others a place to speak their point of view, each member must be authentic and hold the space for others. Inclusion is paramount for discovery, and identifying successful strategies within an organization. 2. Define Here each individual has a responsibility for clearly representing their expertise and the group can probe into how and what each person brings to the experience and potential solutions. Having frank dialogues and a genuine curiosity opens difficult conversations between people. People working in the community look out for each other throughout a project. With fewer independent goals or motives, a community effectively works through issues. 3. Direct Hold space and honor timelines, deadlines, roles and responsibilities. Each individual delivers based on the aligned strategy keeping a project moving forward and gaining buy in from the group. Continuous review of each milestone allows the individuals to stay focused and on task. This will reinforce the individuals contribution to the communities ultimate goal. 4. Declare Creating holistic strategies, the responsibility is to share and lead from a genuine place of understanding and alignment. Sustainable execution exists when all are working towards the common goal or outcome. The community will gain support from others in the organization, needed to to buy into the overall strategy. With this community approach, you will begin to change the corporate culture, understand the dynamics of a shared responsibility, inclusive and connected. Discover, Define, Direct, and Declare, these components connect Communities to their objectives, commitment and the speed of execution, becoming a competitive advantage. We find ourselves in uncharted territory. Without these components, a community becomes a committee. As I reflect on these concepts, , communities are stronger, aligned and faster to react. They focus on sharing outcomes and are more impactful. Communities working together feel the value of alignment, contribution, accomplishment and commitment, through the most difficult challenges and implementation of successful strategies.