Phil Kleweno: How to Get All the Players on Your Team Truly Working Together



As companies face unprecedented amounts of change, it’s crucial that teams work together productively and feel aligned, empowered and included. Phil Kleweno, a partner with Bain’s Results Delivery® practice, outlines three questions that teams need to be able to answer affirmatively to come together effectively to solve problems.

Read the Managing Change blog post: How to Get All the Players On Your Team Truly Working Together

Read the transcript below.

PHIL KLEWENO: Companies are facing unprecedented amounts of change today, and it's driven by things like digital, the introduction of Agile, virtualization, and the instantaneous presence of data. And CEOs, as a result, are leading their companies through pretty significant transformations.

And while there's a lot of important aspects of a transformation, one of them is for the senior team to be aligned around the growth objectives. At Bain & Company, we have found that one aspect of alignment is the degree to which each member of that team truly feels included.

And we have three litmus test questions that we look at to determine that. Number one is, how important am I to this project and team? Number two is, am I competent to fulfill the role that I've been asked to play? And number three is, am I truly understood by the rest of the team, and do I truly understand them?

So we have found that in order for a team to be productive and to solve problems together, they need to be able to answer each of those litmus test questions in the affirmative.

So what does a CEO do in order to build inclusion? One thing is to lean into autonomy.

Teams thrive on this, and they do much better than in a command-and-control environment. What we like to say is, give direction, and then just get out of the way.

Another is to look for frequent opportunities to increase recognition, to increase engagement, and also to increase the commitment to the common good.

And the final one is a little bit of a twist and that is that the leader—him or herself—has to be able to answer the litmus test questions in the affirmative themselves.

So a leader needs to be centered and feel included within the group before they can lead the others to be included as well.

In summary, to keep up with the pace of business, CEOs need aligned, empowered executive teams, and inclusion is a key part of that. And it can be developed over time.

Read the Managing Change blog post: How to Get All the Players On Your Team Truly Working Together