I'm a big fan of Jim Collins, and read everything he writes. In his latest book, How the Mighty Fall, Collins outlines the characteristics of organizations who are either on the rise or on the decline. Great reminders for all of us. Do any of these resonate with you, and remind you of your team?
On the Decline (the way down): 1. people shield those in power from sheer facts, 2. people assert strong opinions without providing relevant data, 3. the team leader has a very low questions to statement ratio, avoiding critical input, 4. team members agree to a decision but do not unify to make the decision successful, 5. team members seek as much credit as possible for themselves but do not enjoy the admiration of their peers, 6. team members argue to look smart or to improve their interests rather than trying to find the best solution, 7. the team conducts "autopsies with blame" seeking culprits rather than wisdom, 8. the team consistently fails to deliver exceptional results, and blame other people or outside factors for setbacks and failures.
On the Way Up (improving teams): 1. people eagerly bring forth unpleasant facts and leaders embrace the feedback, 2. people bring solid data and logic to any team discussion, 3. the team leader employs a Socratic style, asking way more questions than giving answers, 4. team members unify behind a decision once the decision has been made, even if they adamantly opposed the decision, 5. team members credit other people for success yet enjoy the admiration of his or her peers internally, 6. team members argue and debate fearlessly, not to improve their personal position, but to find the best answers to the issue. 7. the team conducts "autopsies without blame," finding wisdom from painful experiences, 8. team members consistently deliver exceptional results.
Again, where does your team currently reside, on the way up or the way down?