This is part of our series of blogs on the “Mosaic Team” concept.
“What does a gardener do? I don’t think a gardener grows anything. Only plants can do that, but gardeners are not unimportant. They prepare the ground, they plant, they water, they weed, they feed they protect, and then they harvest.” – General Stanley McChrystal, Team of Teams; New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
General McChrystal writes that he “backed into a far better approach” in his leadership as he came to realize that the “chess-master” concept he had learned in the military was not going to work in our new environment… it is far more effective to serve as a gardener.
The gardener leadership model is most appropriate in the care and feeding of the new “Mosaic Team” (MT) model we are seeing emerge in a broad range of organizations and businesses. The MT is comprised of a carefully constructed group of individuals who are tasked with solving complex problems in record time. These teams are the key factors for success in the distributed world we now live in.
As I mentioned in my last blog, the MT will often be physically separated; thus, they must have the ability to collaborate from anywhere. That’s very different from many of our traditional models where we gathered the team in one place at set times to share our work. Now we have to have near-constant situational awareness of what the rest of the team is doing. Collaboration has to be the norm of how we do things.
From the outset, the mosaic team has to have a clear mandate. The leader develops this set of expectations, shares it with the team, and seeks their buy-in of what the team, and each member, are supposed to do. The best method to establish this mandate I’ve seen is by publishing a Team Charter and a Team Covenant. Each MT member signs the Covenant, intensifying his or her personal commitment to the team.
One calendar tool that’s proving to be a game changer in effective MT “care and feeding” is dedicated time for team crosstalk each day.
More and more mosaic teams are operating with a set number of hours scheduled daily for collaboration. Then there are regular “check-ins” by the gardener (leader) to get updates from each team member. Through repetition of this calendar schedule, MT members know the cadence of the team and can prepare accordingly.
With clear expectations and commitments, the MT is now fully equipped to do its job. Now the challenge of persistence is much more achievable, as the conditions are set for the “garden” to flourish.
Enjoy the journey!
P.S. If you have questions, or would like to explore additional strategies to make the most out of your teams, feel free to get in touch via our contact page.
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