Building Great Project Teams 101 > The Learning Organization

There is a marked difference between good project teams and great project teams.  The ability to tap into that “thing” that  drives people towards innovation and self-motivation is what separates project leadership from project management.  To really inspire greatness, leaders have to connect with their people and demonstrate that they care about them.

Let’s think about what it takes to build great project teams.  It’s a lot more than hiring good, smart, dedicated people.  It’s about motivating people and teams to become self-actualizing entities that grow and evolve beyond the point suggested by their talent level.  Greatness in project teams emerges when the sum becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

Todays project leaders have to understand that teams are faced with:

– incredible pressure to produce.
– increasing complexity stemming from changing technologies and steeper learning curves. 
– stiff resource constraints.
– a changing competitive landscape.

The only path that will be sustainable is to create an environment which promotes organizational learning.  I highly recommend the following book which changed the way I thought about team building and raised my awareness of the immense potential that remains untapped in our people and in our teams – 

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization is a book by Peter Senge (a senior lecturer at MIT) focusing on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The five disciplines represent approaches (theories and methods) for developing three core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conversation, and understanding complexity.

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