Laying the foundation of a successful team charter
A successful team charter keeps in mind the four pillars that enable great teams to function. These are the drivers of successful interaction and relationship within teams. You can read more about the four pillars here: Creating Great Inter-Cultural Teams.
• Building common purpose
• Creating trust through behavior (merit-based trust)
• Overcoming communication barriers
• Building relational, or social, capital
These four pillars are a powerful starting point in the creation of any team charter. A team can ask itself, "What specific behaviors will make this team successful? What are we going to do, or set in place, for our team, regarding each of these key areas?"
Building on the foundation
In some limited contexts, simply considering the four pillars above may be enough to achieve a team charter. But we live and work in a global and inter-culturally complex world. So we need to take it further. We looked to the ORSC methodology for inspiration: specifically the ORSC idea of "team conversations". We believe that the key to a successful team charter is to have a team conversation in which you explore the foundation and build on it together. Use the four pillars as your guide, with the idea that every behavior or value added to your charter will be decided as a team.
How do we start, and conduct, a team conversation around these four pillars, in order to really test them in the context of an inter-cultural team? We apply the ORSC principle of team conversation to the four pillars in an inter-culturally intelligent manner.
In laying the foundation for a team charter we thought about specific behaviors that we might want to build into our team charter. However, to build upon that foundation, we should discuss how these behaviors will develop our common purpose, create trust, overcome communication barriers, and build social capital.
For example, when you examine common purpose, you might discuss the following when deciding upon behaviors to add to your charter: How are we going to make sure everyone on this team understands why this team exists? How do we intend for our team to achieves its end result? How are we going to continue to check with each other to make sure we are on the right track?
Equipping your team to successfully function under its charter
Now, how can we buttress our four pillars so that they may withstand the greater pressures of team misalignment due to inter-cultural issues? The answer is, by looking at each element of your charter through the different lenses that each of your team members may naturally wear. This is necessary because different members of your team may have different preconceptions, motivators or experience regarding each item.
As your team conducts its conversation about behaviors (or values, expectations, roles, etc.), each item in your charter should be examined in the light of three revealing questions. Each of the questions acts as a lens, and represents one of the worldview paradigms presented in the Three Colors of Worldview: Innocence-Guilt, Honor-Shame, and Power-Fear.
The first question, from the Innocence-Guilt perspective, is: Are we doing the right thing?
The second question, from the Honor-shame perspective, is: Will this behavior honor us – as individuals on the team, the team itself, our organization – as well as our customers?
The third question, from the Power-Fear perspective, is: Will that behavior empower everybody involved? Is this going to be "life-giving", or will it actually generate some fear, indecision, and paralysis?
When you allow each of the lenses in turn to focus on each element of your charter, you ensure that each element of your charter is exactly right for your team, and that its expression is one that all team members can fully endorse, support, and commit themselves to. You are having a team conversation that few teams take the time to have, or are able to have. You are building a formula for success right into the charter that guides your team.
Contact us to learn more about how KnowledgeWorkx can help you develop Inter-Cultural Intelligence in your organization. You can also start your culture learning journey from our mini-ebook: Inter-Cultural Intelligence: from surviving to thriving in the global space.