Charter Excellence Ahead of Time

Many people say they want to achieve high performance; however, a smaller number will put in the effort to achieve that goal. When pressed, many cite they are too busy to do the things necessary to reach a higher standard. It has little to do with busyness; every professional is busy. It is not important enough. Achieving a higher performance is vital for many people but not more important than the myriad of other tasks. The same tasks they complain about day in and day out and call redundant, a waste of time, and inefficient. That’s a lot of noise to sustain mediocrity.

If your team does not have a working charter, you’re wasting valuable time and falling far short of excellence. At its most basic, the team charter should be the written guidelines that each member agrees to abide by to achieve a higher performance standard. Every time the dynamic of the team changes, verify the charter and, if necessary, update its contents.

Below are six fundamental pieces of a charter.

1. Organizational and Team Vision, Purpose, and Values — The Organization’s vision, purpose, and values are the foundations of the team charter, and they provide the context for the team’s existence. The team’s vision, purpose, and values must align with the organization’s.

  • The vision is a picture of the ideal end-result and determines how the team pursues its purpose.
  • The purpose identifies what the team does, for whom, and why it is crucial. It provides the direction for assigning roles, setting goals, and determining strategies.
  • The values are the enduring beliefs that guide the team’s choices and actions and define what is right or important.

2. Team Norms and Member Roles — Norms are the explicit or implicit ground rules that identify appropriate behavior for team members. They clarify expected behavior, provide a basis for corrective action and help team members hold each other accountable. Team member roles define the individual responsibilities for the successful operation of the team.

3. Key Responsibility Areas and Goals — These define the primary function areas responsible for achieving the team’s purpose. Effective goals and milestones measure the proper outcomes to be successful.

4. Communication Strategies — Ensure the timely sharing of information among team members, stakeholders, and the organization.

5. Decision-making — The system of authority and accountability that the team uses to make decisions. Authority defines the scope of the team’s responsibility and decision-making, and accountability ensures commitments are satisfied.

6. Resources — The tangible materials and support, e.g., Budget availability/constraints, Time demands, Necessary training/skill development, Access to relevant information needed by the team to accomplish its goals.

High performance does not happen by accident. Leaders set the pace, and a team charter provides the guardrails.

Adapt to Adopt

Some writers are known for a particular style, and some writers can adopt different styles to different needs.

Some leaders are known for a particular style, and some leaders can adopt different styles to different needs.

There’s not a right or wrong; there’s good and better.

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Karl Bimshas

Karl Bimshas

Boston-bred and California-chilled Leadership Adviser | Writer | Podcast Host who helps busy professionals who want to manage better and lead well.