The current business climate in Romania is very unpredictable, unstable and also interconnected. Regarding things from this point of view, companies should concentrate a lot on their most important resource: people.
Which obstacles can arise in teamwork? What are the blockages faced by a coach when working with a management team? What skills does a coach need in order to work at this level? But first of all… What is happening with the management teams nowadays?
From all points of view, the management team is the most important team in an organization. It has the strongest power to influence the way things work. Its decisions have repercussions not only upon the usual members of the organization, but also on the future of the company. Many of you might strongly wish to reach the management level. Many of you might actually be there and might realize that, most of times, the management team has too few resources and abilities to reach their objectives.
The members of the management team are usually chosen due to their functional responsibilities. In addition, there is another criteria that, no matter how emotional it may sound, weighs heavily in the balance of expanding the management team: ‘X person can’t be left out, he’s … important’. Also, most teams don’t feel safe enough to assume until the end the design and the future of the company. Most times, the management teams are actually a group of senior managers, each of them owning their personal responsibilities but they have no idea of how to work together otherwise than through interactions and individual debates.
Maybe you will be surprised with the following information: using management teams in the top of the organization is a relatively new phenomenon. The way structural and functional leadership is organized in companies is formed of a sum of very strong cultural patterns. In the last decade, using the management team has become more and more important due to the growth in the complexity and diversity of issues that appear in the specific market (that became global) but also inside the company (that has been forced to adapt to global business patterns).
The difficulties of team work
In each management team, there is a series of functional blockages and difficulties in creating relationships that, from the coaching point of view, hide really huge development and performance opportunities, which can overcome the usual results regarding the implementation of the company’s business strategy. Take a look at some of them:
1. Firstly, everyone in the organization (and not only) is paying a lot of attention to what is happening in the management team. Everybody is analyzing and waiting for ‘signs’ from it. Also, the competition. And this is one of the reasons why the management environment is not encouraging at all the creation and development of a climate coverage for strategic reflection and openness in sharing information and ideas.
2. The dynamic of politics and power is a central phenomenon in all of this group’s activities. Each choice, each decision is held in the light of the results but also in the perspective of the way it affects the influence and the future plans of each manager. The fact that the CEO is also the leader of the team and the chief of the organization contributes heavily at the complexity of the subject.
3. There are always tensions – more or less visible – regarding the collaboration between the management team members and the implicit competition between them. Simply said, this group gathers around the CEO position, both as status and skills. Once a manager reaches the level of being a member in the management team, the available career developments are either assuming the CEO position, or leaving the company. Implicitly, the competitive stakes are high.
4. Usually, the managers from the management team are the ‘stars’ in their fields of activity. They have been known as ones and rewarded for their individual results. In most organizations, rewards are offered for the success in their functions, not for their contributions to the success of others. And also usually, these managers have overconfidence in their own abilities mixed with a poorly managed fear: they don’t really know how to treat other colleagues that are on the same level as them and especially how to manage the challenges they face together.