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The 5 ‘C’s Of Winning Teams

The 5 ‘C’s – The often-quoted local acronym that jokingly describes what a Singaporean woman frequently looks for in a male partner. From cash to condominium, the materialistic Singaporean man has sought to fulfill these attributes to be deemed successful in the eyes of the opposite gender.

Although these ‘C’s do have a distasteful flavour, could we transplant the same acronym and apply them in a scorporate context? In our opinion, regardless of business models, for any team to be successful, it would need to incorporate the following 5 ‘C’s; the elements, we think, that are essential to build a winning team.

1) Collaboration

This may seem a tad clichéd but do hear us out. Dictionary.com defines collaboration as the act of working with another or others on a joint project. Theoretically, this seems like a given. So why is this notion so difficult to implement at times in reality?

Misunderstanding of intentions? Differences in working styles? Most definitely, we have heard these grouses before. At Right Impact, we advocate the use of Emergenetics® - a brain-based profiling instrument that uses the latest in neuroscience to uncover our thinking and behavioural preferences. With Emergenetics®, we are thus able to uncover the deeper genetic preferences that often manifest themselves in our working styles.

We believe that in many occasions, team members can work better together when they realise the unique strengths and gifts that they bring to the table. Einstein once remarked that if were to judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, then it would have lived its whole life believing it is stupid. Unity is strength but diversity is power.

2) Communication

In the best-selling book, Crucial Conversations, authors, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler made us all aware of our failings in handling delicate, important discussions in various contexts. So what makes a crucial conversation? It is one where emotions run strong, opposing opinions are present and the stakes are high.

Using this as a platform, communication cannot come any more critical than at the workplace. Often, we succumb to our emotions whenever opinions differ. An almost indescribable lump of frustration starts rising from within and suddenly, our choice of words change, tones become more hostile and accusations gradually follow. Been there before?

Perhaps, a key to effective communication is to adopt conscious rationality in face of any crucial conversation. By asking ourselves constantly, “What do we really want to achieve in this discussion?” can shape our individual thoughts and dialogue processes. Also, the ability to look at various perspectives through the eyes of different stakeholders can help achieve conversational success as well.

3) Change

The only constant is this world is change. Haven’t we heard that one before? A team that remains dangerously contented may subject itself to complacency. In relation to the previous two ‘C’s, sometimes, a devil’s advocate in the team may be beneficial in the long run. Such a role would help promote continual improvement to work processes, key performance indicators and even behaviours.

Dr. Spencer Johnson, of “Who Moved My Cheese?” fame, prescribes the concept of embracing change. Although written in the application of personal development, this iconic book can certainly be practiced in a corporate team setting, where change in all forms, should be anticipated, implemented and enjoyed.

4) Creativity

In today’s fast-moving business environment, a lack of creativity and innovation would only lead to reduced profits and low morale. Where would Apple be if creativity was not encouraged?

Throughout corporate history, the behemoths of businesses that fail to tap on new ideas have fallen by the wayside. The demise of Kodak does come to mind. In an article on cbsnews.com, titled Harnessing Your Team’s Creativity, author Janice Hui, suggests how creativity can be stifled at work due to organisational culture and managerial influence. This can be a perilous mindset that could set the path for disaster.

Maybe, as teams, we should re-look at our definitions of creativity because it is a common myth that creativity only exists in certain job functions. A rehash of tried-and-tested formulas may not always work. Whether it is the finance department or the sales team, creative thinking should be encouraged and religiously practiced.

5) Camaraderie

“What is the difference between camaraderie and collaboration?” you might ask. To us, a thin line separates these two concepts. A line, though thin, could differentiate a great team from a good one. Collaboration is, no doubt, critical for business success but if you are to think a little deeper, robots also collaborate. In fact, the automated production lines of Toyota are so efficient that they work so rhythmically together, due to the collaboration software that dictates the actions of each machine.

Thus, camaraderie is what makes us human. The single greatest asset in any organisation is its people. The workplace relationships among these people are organisational treasures. As advocates of positive psychology, we believe that employee happiness is a vital element in forecasting and increasing productivity and talent retention rates.

If we are able to harness positive psychological capital, organisations and teams can improve the self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience of their employees, which thereby improves job performance. Such applications would build team spirit and help forge strong professional bonds that can create a positive team identity and an unbreakable camaraderie.

As you can see, these 5 ‘C’s do not and cannot exist in isolation. An absence of one would affect the existence, promotion and sustainability of another. Without collaboration, there can be no camaraderie. Without change- receptiveness, creativity would not be encouraged. These pillars of a champion team must be upheld in any organisation, or else teamwork may just end up as another ideal that is preached but not practiced.

Article by Andy Pan, the Director of Training at Right Impact

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