Project Management

Build Team Commitment to a Goal

Kaihan Krippendorff

4DX, a popular team methodology introduced by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling, stresses the crucial nature of focusing on “wildly important goals.” Nearly every effective innovation team model stresses the import of creating a simple, well-understood purpose that team members can get behind.

Research shows that once you have assembled a diverse team, the team’s effectiveness will depend heavily on the presence of a shared goal. Interestingly, when there is less diversity among members of an organization, the presence of a shared vision has little effect on performance. But when you have a diverse team, the lack of a shared vision leads to dysfunction. People begin bickering over their differences rather than unifying behind their shared goal. So if you pulled together a cross-functional team—as suggested in “Start Building an Innovation Team”—creating a shared mission becomes even more important.

It’s also important to focus your team narrowly on one part of the goal at a time. In the scrum approach, for example, you focus the team on just one (or a few) priorities every week. Successful growth teams are also driven by focus. Brian Balfour—creator of Coelevate, founder and CEO of Reforge, and one of the leading proponents of a popular innovation-team approach called “growth teams”—puts it this way:

I’ve haphazardly given (and heard) the advice “you need to …


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