The Myth of the Perfect Team


All of my life, I have considered myself a perfectionist. If something is 95% correct, I like to study the opportunity for improvement that the remaining 5% presents. So I was intrigued by a question a client asked me a few weeks ago. His project had recently wrapped up, and we were talking about his experience with and his reactions to the integrated team and technology implemented.
It was good. I wouldn't do it any other way. But it wasn't perfect.
No wonder he and I get along so well. We're part of the same club. His reaction was thoughtful and honest. It launched a conversation about the concept of the perfect team and the perfect..and posed the question:
Is there such thing as a perfect team or a perfect project?
While there likely isn't, I decided to think about it a little more and came up with the following characteristics for the perfect team.

  1. The perfect team is relative. Meaning, that my perfect team isn't necessarily your perfect team. Perfect is about fit. (Based on this, you can assume that the remaining characteristics may not apply to you at all!)
  2. My perfect team is diverse. They have complimentary skill sets, both technically and sociologically. 
  3. My perfect team is lively. They debate, they laugh, they have productive friction. To me, that is a sign of trust and passion.
  4. My perfect team is proactive. It is naive to assume that challenges won't come up. So they consider and keep in mind the potential paths and pitfalls. 
  5. My perfect team is action-oriented. At the end of the day, they make decisions and move the ball forward. They are intentional with their pauses and movements.
  6. My perfect team is resilient. When (not if) they hit a roadblock, they find a way to move forward and maintain focus on the end goal.

So that's my perfect team. What does your perfect team look like? Is there such thing as a perfect team? Leave your thoughts in the comments or send them my way on Twitter!

You might also like to read:
"Spinach In Your Teeth" Team
Why IPD Works
Three Rules for Innovation Teams

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