Teaming: Specialization for Changing Times

Technology and changing consumer lifestyles over the last decade have changed the rules of play for almost every business. The world is much more complex than it was even 10 years ago, and many organizations have had to revisit or, in some cases, rewrite their strategies to accommodate emerging disrupters.

These changes have led to new demands for businesses to meet customer needs and to comply with the guidelines of their industries. Sadly, many organizations today are not creating systems to support any of this change. They are at a tipping point, and if someone does not lead change within these organizations, they are going to become obsolete and irrelevant.

Businesses are no longer comprised of a few individuals who have all the answers. Change has made it impossible for one person to efficiently handle everything required to provide the best experience possible for customers. We now live in a world of specialization, where it is no longer possible for one person to know and do it all. And the speed with which change is happening is driving this need for specialized individuals.

The rate of change will only continue to accelerate in our lifetime. To meet these challenges, organizations need to approach change in a new way. They need to implement an effective process to navigate through the changes — which is where the business concept of teaming comes in.

Teaming is based on change. It helps organizations successfully meet the challenges that come with an ever-changing business landscape. However, it requires a commitment to putting a new game strategy in place. Organizations that recognize this need and embrace teaming will be the ones still in business over the next few years.

Unique Abilities

With the added complexities of the changing business landscape, it is impossible for one individual to efficiently handle all the aspects of business required to provide a superior customer experience. We call this state of affairs “reaching capacity.” Time is a premium, and there is not enough time for one person to review, recommend and implement all the necessary elements in the client service matrix.

Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden believed that if everyone developed his or her unique abilities, then a team could raise its level of play to championship levels. That goal is the aim of teaming: developing players with unique abilities to help an organization maximize time. Doing so also allows organizations to efficiently handle the complexities required to provide the best possible customer experience and to expand their business — and not be among the many that reach capacity and ultimately fail.

Teaming helps leaders maximize available time by assigning a role and responsibilities to an individual with the unique ability to do a specified job. Each unique ability plays a significant role on the team that will improve efficiencies in a business process, such as the sales cycle. The ultimate goal is for team players to support top achievers so they can focus on “A” clients and “A” situations. Doing so will bring more business from those clients and, likely, lead to more referrals. That’s how businesses successfully grow.

Avoid Commonalities

Finding team players with unique abilities for specialized roles will help raise an organization’s level of play and multiply success even during changing times. All too often, however, business leaders tend to hire people just like them, because we tend to be more comfortable and build trust more quickly with people with whom we share commonalities.

However, putting a team of individuals with the same talents into the field of play can be detrimental to your goals. In business, and especially in a sales organization, leaders must think differently. They must recognize that their teams need to have specialized roles for diversity of thought.

When looking for players for your team, don’t just focus on similar talent. Instead look for people who complement your unique abilities and add different skill sets to your team — talented and complementary team members.

Having team players with completely different skill sets offers another benefit to an organization: It forces people out of their comfort zones, and when people are forced out of their comfortable spaces, new opportunities for growth arise.

Opportunity for Trainers

Teaming offers a new opportunity for trainers to focus on the basics of their organizations: the processes that should deliver consistent results. The opportunity lies in identifying the team members best suited for each stage of a process. By leveraging their unique abilities, a trainer can help to strengthen all areas of the business.

In my years of training, I have experienced the frustration of working with individuals who can’t perform well in a particular process, such as a closer who can’t close or a rapport-builder who turns people off because of his or her dominant personality type. Teaming provides a solution to make all team members successful, recognizing them for their unique contributions rather than penalizing them for their shortcomings.

Technology may be simplifying many business processes, but it is also requiring specialization. Time is a premium, and there is not enough of it for one person to review, recommend and implement all the necessary elements in the client service matrix. Matching unique abilities to specialized processes will provide a deeper curriculum to perfect each area of your business. It will provide better results for the organization, including increased retention as well as a culture of collaboration and support.

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