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Monitoring Team Effectiveness – Using th... > Well-Tended External Relationships

Well-Tended External Relationships

No team exists in a vacuum. Effective, well-performing teams understand the needs and perspectives of many external stakeholders, some inside the organization and some outside. They foster and maintain external relationships with people and organizations outside the company, including competitors, suppliers, strategic partners, regulatory agencies, and customers. In particular, effective teams operate with an awareness that the external environment is constantly changing. Holding on to outdated assumptions about the external environment causes many teams to fall short of their goals. Similarly, teams need to beware of falling into the themversusus mentality. Partnerships with regulatory agencies, for example, can be more effective in achieving team goals and organizational results than traditional adversarial positions.

What to Look For

Playing politics. Take a close look at how the team relates to stakeholders in the company, and see if undue weight is being given to organizational politics. For example, has the team left some part of the organization out of the loop because it doesn’t want to deal with an anticipated turf battle?

Angry suppliers. If vendors are complaining, it often indicates that the team doesn’t understand their operations and constraints.

Alienated customers or clients. The purpose of a team frequently relates directly to serving and satisfying the organization’s clients. Unhappy customers may be a sign that the team has lost sight of its purpose.


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