Teams implement corporate strategic initiatives along with management. Effective teams make the difference in marketing, acquisitions, restructuring, divestitures and product development plans. They help launch new products in multiple regions, facilitate post-merger integration and help in implementing corporate restructuring actions. Changes in business conditions, customer preferences and government regulations are some of the driving factors behind strategic initiatives.
Select and nurture your middle managers because they are your team leaders. Project and product managers, shift leaders, marketing and finance managers are the mid-level managers who determine the success or failure of strategic initiatives. Companies should systematically nurture managers because they implement virtually all major strategic initiatives.
Break down barriers to effective team building, such as turf battles and incentive systems that reward individual rather than collective achievement. This is a difficult but necessary step for the successful execution of strategic initiatives. Remove or reassign disruptive elements from teams if one-on-one or group sessions to encourage more collaboration do not work. Botched restructuring implementations and poor merger integrations are some of the reasons for mistrust and other barriers to effective team building.
Start building and nurturing teams from the very moment you take charge. Managers often find themselves in a dilemma because they depend on the expertise of the very teams they are supposed to evaluate. An integration session early in your tenure could clarify expectations that you have for the team and the team has for you.
Share information about the corporate initiatives, and explain why they are necessary. You will receive more cooperation if employees and managers know how the strategic initiative will benefit them directly. This also means being brutally honest with the bad news. Open communications often motivate teams to put their differences aside, rally together and get behind the leader and the corporate mission.