High Performing Teams And Purpose

What about team purpose?  We talk about the team having a goal for a product, a release, a sprint, but is that the team’s purpose? And does it matter? Well, if you want to be high performing team, yes it does.

It is alignment of purpose that allows us to even perceive where we need to improve and apply self-management to do so. It’s because we feel we have something to achieve that we realize sleeping in until noon is probably not such a good idea. And our obligation to our team reinforces that commitment.

In the end, it is not just a Scrum Master or Coach who needs to be a good communicator and servant leader, driven to help and with a drive for continuous improvement. These are characteristics that, along with the desire to be creative, represent what is best in any one of us.  What about teams who have eliminated the Scrum Master role? These are simply teams who don’t need to be coached into a realization of this fact.

Life can be tough, and in tough times it can be in fashion to accept the model of work as being something you suffer through and put up with until you can someday retire and “play.” But the truth is that being productive, having a sense of contribution, is the biggest morale boost and one of the most satisfying things you can experience. The most fulfilled people I know are also the most productive. They probably think it silly that I even bring this up.

But it’s worth doing so. It’s an aspect of being self-aware, and self-management. You don’t have to have a sudden epiphany or head off to the Himalayas or go on vision quest to have purpose. To start, just a simple examination of your own actions in this light might be revealing.  You might spot a lack of productivity in your actions that you never before confronted; you might get a closer glimpse of what you are really intending to do.  From there, just adopting a purpose that aligns better with your current situation can boost your productivity, your satisfaction, and the degree to which you are in good communication with those around you.  And it doesn’t mean you can’t inspect and further improve that purpose periodically, or whenever you like.

The same goes for teams as whole. In fact, an argument could be made that this same principle applies upward to larger groups and even nations – that higher, aligned purpose would result in greater sense of responsibility, self-management and productivity internally. But that’s another discussion.

So it would appear we Agilists are actually at the leading edge of an evolution that is quite a big deal: rehabilitating the reputation of “work” as the pleasure of creatively contributing to joint success.  Lead on!

What are your thoughts?

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