Game of Teams is a story about team collaboration and the importance of coaching to become a Collaborative Leader.
In a world demanding management innovation for solving complex challenges, the significance of collaboration cannot be underestimated. Defined as a marked departure from customary organizational forms that alter the way the work of management is performed, management innovation is described in Game of Teams in the form of a new operating platform. Applied, this platform helps teams harness the power of their connections across networks to effectively collaborate, creating added value and win-win outcomes.
Game of Teams promotes a collaborative mindset, helping teams function interdependently to produce win-win outcomes. This application is critical in today’s VUCA  world, where collaborative leadership has vital significance. In contrast to the "Lone Ranger" leadership style that was typically employed and celebrated during the Industrial Revolution, the level of leadership required in a VUCA world is far beyond the scope of a single leader. Indeed, we should all recognize by now that a collaborative mindset is no longer a “nice-to-have," but a "need-to-have” quality when it comes to managing and leading individuals and teams who deal with accelerating – and unprecedented – levels of change!
Written in the form of an allegory, Game of Teams introduces an operating platform made up of several operating principles used to describe a collaborative mindset, along with a series of essential competencies used to describe a collaborative skill set. The operating principles, when applied, demonstrate a collaborative mindset, producing a high level of interdependence that optimizes team performance. The competencies are aligned with the operating principles and are described as essential to the successful application of a collaborative skill set. Here, Game of Teams leverages the Polaris® Competency Model to help people develop competencies that make up the collaborative skill set.
The endgame calls for using the operating platform to help teams function with a high level of interdependence, and trust by, providing a shared approach to establishing necessary principles, processes, and protocols – all important aspects of effective team performance. In fact, when it comes to virtual teams whose members are not physically together, this type of operating platform is critical to establishing trust, as it's a highly effective alternative to the more traditional, social ways of building and sustaining trust among colleagues who work together in person. And, we all know that without trust, collaboration is impossible.
But teams - and team leaders - can't be expected to simply create this type of working environment out of thin air. Ideally, an effective approach to collaboration requires coaching. Research tells us that a commitment to coaching increases employee engagement, improves productivity, and accelerates the achievement of results. Without coaching, team performance suffers. Game of Teams introduces a process for both in-house and external coaches to help support the team's well-being, or psychological, in order to effectively collaborate.
As the story unfolds in Game of Teams, a new manager is challenged to learn how to harness the power of people on his team to effectively collaborate and produce win-win solutions. To be successful, he will need to become a collaborative leader, in other words, one who is able to lead with a collaborative mindset and apply a collaborative skill set. On his journey, he will need coaching to help him succeed.
His journey is a never-ending challenge requiring his personal commitment to learning and development. Although it may not take him places where no one has gone before, it will be a journey on a road less traveled. His commitment to coaching is the key to success!
 VUCA – an acronym used to describe four general conditions and situations: volatile, uncertain, changing, and ambiguous. Its relevance to leaders in business is clear, as these conditions are highly descriptive of the environment in which business in the twenty-first century is conducted every day.
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