Friday, September 2, 2011

Five Ways For an FSO to Increase High Power Team Effectiveness

Maybe you think you are alone, fighting the one person fight that many leaders face. However, you would be wrong to assume that the head of security is the only one responsible for the security program. For cleared defense contractors, the Facility Security Officer is in charge of the security program, but not the only one with a vested interest in protecting classified contracts. So how does the FSO create a teaming environment or create a program where everyone works together?
Through High Power Teams
High power teams (HPT) are the most effective types of entities. Where groups form, storm and norm, HPTs go further to create a body more capable than any individual. They do this by agreeing to rules and primarily keeping in mind that throughout any process or problem, it’s not about the individual, it’s about the group. This allows the organization to benefit as a whole as each member sacrifices their individual desires. The members do not lose or give up the individuality that makes them unique. It does not stifle individual creativity. What each individual sacrifices are selfish desires and the need for self importance.
High power teams (HPT) consists of a small number of people with complementary skills. Individual members of HPTs are committed to a common goal and hold themselves mutually accountable. This structure and assembly of individual core competencies, skills and capabilities create a superpower stronger than any one person could ever be.

The charter defines the standards the HPT will perform under. It provides the purpose vision, norms, goals, expectations and procedures. The charter is the rudder that keeps the group focused and forms the basis for group discipline and accountability. For example, if someone arrives late or makes fun of another member’s contribution, corrections can be made by referring to the charter. Additionally, if the group loses focus, the members can refer to the vision and goals.

While the charter provides the fundamentals other dynamics provide the groups personality and incredible effectiveness. Typically, all groups go through a forming, storming, norming, and performing, but that’s where a group’s effectiveness ends. There is a distinct difference between groups and teams.

 Teams build on the four stages by engaging collective performance, positive environment, holding individuals and the entire group accountable for charter guidelines and taking advantage of complementary skills. This again increases effectiveness and provides results associated with the capabilities of the HPT.

Anyone can form an HTP and especially so for highly effective formal and informal leader. Let’s for the sake of relativity, consider a Facility Security officers, command security managers or other security specialist. In other words, how can an HPT help?

Start with the charter. A leader can form an HPT from all business units. Since the FSO is responsible for creating a security program to protect classified information, they may either suggest or take the lead and form the group. Once in the group, the individuals begin to discuss the vision, norms and etc. Such topics to tackle might include policy, security violations, refresher training, emergency operations planning, and communication for starters. A multi organizational HPT can bring depth and breadth to a stagnant security program.

The difficulty for some leaders will be to sacrifice their will and turn over problems for a group to solve. That’s natural, but one of the benefits is that security is now part of the organization’s DNA and not just “overhead” or a “necessary evil”. The effective group will have capabilities beyond just the one leader. The tradeoff is perfect and the results impressive.
Here are recommendations for forming an HPT:
  1. Engage-Invite interested parties-canvas your corporation and determine who might be interested in joining this group. You may need to build security allies who might help you recruit effective individuals
  2. Focus-Develop a game plan and respect other members time. You can increase effectiveness with a charter as described above
  3.  Accountability-Have meeting minutes and document your work and products. Be sure to capture all important decisions and who will act on them. When the group assigns responsibilities to individuals, they tend to come through
  4.  Followup-Let the group know you appreciate their efforts. Better yet, assign credit to your group members and ensure the executives and department heads (if they aren’t part of the group) understand who the members are and to buy in on decisions.
  5.  Have fun-This is a time to allow creativity. Work within the confines of governing regulations and corporate policy, but allow out of the box thinking.

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