VOLUME 1: AUGUST 18, 2005
Grab yourself some hot coffee, put your feet up on the desk, and enjoy
this FIRST issue of The Creative Edge Newsletter.
It is my goal to bring you great information on a variety of areas that are
important to the success of your business.
I will provide you with
articles covering three primary areas of importance to your business...leadership
development, organizational development/culture, and business strategy.
Along the way, you will find guest articles, special interviews, and even an
invitations to free teleclasses just for subscribers to this newsletter.
The Creative Edge Newsletter
is published on the first and third Thursday of the month and is always
Free. Your personal information is always kept private.
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IN THIS ISSUE
A Beautiful Moment
The Foundations of Successful Team Building
Another Book...not this week.
Coming to you in September.
Free teleclasses...how can you NOT look at the section.
-It's Your Turn
you think about this issue? What questions do you have?
Right now, while you are reading this, I am
probably sitting down with a nice cup of coffee watching people pass right by
the coffee shop. I will look around and notice that it is a beautiful
August morning, with sunshine and a soft breeze. I will notice all the
people moving around, many trying to make their way to work. Some are in a
hurry whereas others are taking their time to the
disappointment of those in a rush. The birds will be singing their
beautiful songs and there will be this perfect rhythm to how everyone carries
It is my hope and wish for you that you also have
a beautiful day.
President, Innovative Business Resources, LLC
"The Foundation of Successful Team Building"
by Michael T. Bauer
As a teenager, I spent a number of weekends and summer
vacations helping my parents build a new home. Not the way most teenagers
want to spend their time. And I was no different. I remember when
the basement walls were built and the floor was poured. I remember helping
my father put a protective layer of insulating board on the outside walls,
developing a drainage system, and dumping in layers of stones. I didn't
really understand why we had to do all that work, but my father explained very
carefully that he wanted to make sure that this new home had a solid, protected
foundation. He didn't want to find cracks or leaks in the foundation
because that would impact our home.
Of all of the many challenges that organizations face, it
seems that team development is one of the biggest and most critical. One
of the difficulties with teams is often times they do not have a solid
foundation to build upon. I guess my father wasn't there to help plan and
build a solid foundation to build upon. For many organizations, the solution is to
provide team building workshops that includes experiential exercises and on building skills. These workshops provide wonderful ideas, tools, and
even inspiration but eventually the information is lost because the foundation
had cracks (attitudes, assumptions, opinions, negativity.)
The foundation of any team needs to have at least the
Clearly defined goals and expectations are extremely
important. It is critical that every member on the team understands what
direction they are traveling. It is safe to say that a great deal of
motivation and morale is lost when everyone on a team is not aiming for the same
outcomes. It is not uncommon to find teams that achieve small, individual
focused goals, but miss out on the opportunity to meet larger expectations.
Accountability is often an issue when it comes to achieving these larger goals.
I have been on many teams, and in most cases there weren't any
specific goals and expectations, only generalizations. Most people want to
have some creative choice in how they approach work, but the also understand the
importance of establishing some direction. Often times, unclear goals and
expectations start at the very top of the organization. So, how well does
your organization follow its mission, vision, and core values? Does your
organization hold people accountable for their work?
Open and Clear Communication is another crucial
foundation element. Clear communication encourages team members to share
their opinions and points of view with the understanding that it makes the team
more effective. In most of my experiences, teams that were struggling did
so because of poor communication or a complete lack of it. Team
members did not feel that they could speak to the team leader or upper
management so they gradually developed negative attitudes and created
divisions within the team. This is a very difficult skill for a team to
master and maintain because our personalities always get in the way. Do
you practice clear and open communication with your team?
Effective and timely decision making is important to a
team's overall health and development. It is important that teams that
make decisions also be able to implement them. Motivation drops
significantly when teams decide to implement one thing, but then are informed
that they have no say in the final directions. Timely decision making also
includes deciding upon the best method of decision making, such as majority rule, consensus
building, and authority rule with discussion. The real challenge is
deciding what type to use and when to use it. Each decision making model
has its positive outcomes, but also negative ones. Take a look at the teams you are connected with. How
does your team make decisions and are they responsible for implementation of
Finally, it is extremely important that there are clearly
defined roles. Some people are better at action related roles.
These roles focus on contributing to getting the work of the team done.
These people are task oriented and push the group to achieve more. Then
there are the motivators, or those roles that are focused on developing,
encouraging, and building interpersonal relationships. Ultimately, all
team members are responsible for these roles.
So, take a good look at your team.
Is the foundation solid or do you need some help building it back up?
Copyright 2005 Michael T. Bauer
DO YOU WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE? You
can! Send me a request through our website at http://www.creativeleading.com/contact.html
will send you a short bio to include at the end of the article.
No book review today...although I am reading two
very good books. In the next newsletter I will share my thoughts about the
author and leadership expert Marcus Buckingham.
While one of my goals is to keep this newsletter very concise, I also want to
provide as much additional information to you about issues that impact family owned
business, professional service firms, non-profits, and small businesses. In the next few weeks you will have
an opportunity to receive additional information by email. Keep your eyes open
to this section for new information.
This is the one area of the newsletter that you
don't want to skip over. This is where YOU find out how to sign up for the
next free teleclass that we are offering. The teleclass will only be
offered to subscribers to this newsletter. We plan to do two teleclasses a
month - one teleclass will focus on leadership development issues and the second
one will be an interview with an expert on a variety of issues that can help
your business grow. Our experts work in the area of HR, incentive
programs, public relations, marketing, advertising, and copywriting.
And you will have a chance to ask our guest a few questions. Keep your
eyes posted to this spot. September is the deadline.
IT'S YOUR TURN
What did you think about this issue? Did you find
something in the issue that you could use? Maybe you have a question you
would like to ask. Your comments are extremely important to the ongoing
development of this newsletter. Click
Are you struggling to write a brochure, an article, a book? Do you need
someone who can write effective press releases or letters to the editor? I
want to introduce you to my good friend Anne Bingham. Anne is an editor and
copywriter with many years of
experience in the journalism field. She has the skills to really make your
written materials shine. So, if you are looking to publish anything (could
even be a newsletter) and want someone to do the editing (or writing), then let
me know. I would love to personally refer you to her. Contact me
today at http://www.creativeleading.com/contact.html
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Michael Bauer is the President of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, a
management consulting firm that focuses on unlocking the creative potential
in individuals and organizations tm. Michael directs his energy
toward helping organizations develop their leaders, strengthen their teams, and
energize their cultures. He is also a Principal with The Global Consulting
Partnership, a partnership with over 250 consultants throughout the United
Innovative Business Resources, LLC provides a wide range of consulting
solutions for human resources development and organizational development. These
solutions are individually tailored and apply to all sizes of businesses.
Michael enjoys working with family-owned and privately held organizations,
non-profits, service-based firms, and small business owners/entrepreneurs.
Contact Information: Michael Bauer, Innovative Business Resources, LLC,
N88 W17966 Christman Road Menomonee Falls, WI 53051. You
can find more information about Michael and IBR through our website at http://www.creativeleading.com
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