A recent HBR blog points out the difference between a group and a team, stating that managing a group of people does not a true team make. Authors note that collective work and mutual commitment are two key elements of a team, and that focusing on managing the team as a unit rather than its individual members can unleash its true potential.
To diagnose whether your group truly feels the impact of “we,” the blog outlines a few issues to consider:
- Mutual Commitment-Do folks in the group know not just the tasks being performed, but also who benefits from the work?
- Goal Clarity-Are you pursuing clear goals based on your purpose?
- Process Clarity-Do all group members know how the team works? The roles and responsibilities of all team members?
Making sure your team has full commitment to Research’s goals not only can improve the engagement of researchers but will also improve the quality and actionability of your work. Spending time making sure everyone knows who benefits from your work and why is key to matching research output to decision markers’ needs.
Kimberly-Clark helps junior researchers deepen their business understanding by having them document brand strategy and tie it to the annual research plan. This change in research planning and management allows everyone on the team to incorporate strategic thinking into their day-to-day workflow.
We have also found that researchers work to create better insights when they see those around them taking risks, pushing for creativity, and encouraging them to do the same. The social dynamics of the team have a huge impact on individual motivation and performance, so encouraging and rewarding principled risk-taking can go a long way toward building a more effective Research function. MREB members can access our Research Team Focus and Culture resource center to learn more about creating an environment conducive to insight generation.