“Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEOs – Ken Blanchard”
The business world refers to a company as a “tribe” when management and employees have a shared vision and support across the membership is universal. The tribe’s power stems from relationships. Service ninjas, on the other hand, are outstanding, independently able field technicians. “Tribe of service ninjas” may thus appear to be a contradiction in terms. Your business can, however, nurture both personal excellence and a high level of commitment to the group. In doing so, you will be on a trajectory for success.
How You Can Support the Transformation
The journey from a team to a tribe begins when a core of employees fully support your company values. If you haven’t got a clear, simple statement of values in place, or it is generally dismissed by employees, take the time to develop one. Invite all levels of employees to participate, either by submitting comments or taking part in discussions. Then make it part of your culture. Hang it on the wall, print it in the handbook, and most important, refer to it when making business decisions.
Next, work to develop collaborative relationships across your workforce. If you have a plumbing or electrical business, for example, collaboration may currently be limited to teamwork on the job site. Enhance collaboration across all employee groups and in all situations. Develop formal mentoring programs, and encourage informal sharing of trade craft and tips on using technology. Provide tools for collaboration, including smart phones and business apps. When a technician facing a complex problem can, by initiating a group text, benefit from the wisdom of the entire team, all parties will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Next: Balance Team and Individual Incentives
Where is your company on the road from team to tribe? What works? Share your thoughts.