Autonomous teams, who have the freedom to take on challenging goals, to set their own best practices that best serve team building and the development of all their members but also to achieve the desired results are a wish I hear frequently from most of the leaders I talk to. Although there are many leaders who want to build an autonomous team, in my perspective, there are few who take this approach. Assuming the effort is to reinvent leadership in that team, from individual leadership, usually under the responsibility of the team manager, to collective leadership, being the responsibility of the entire team.
The organizational context and the objectives of the coaching process: a team coaching project in a Romanian entrepreneurial organization, that aimed to test the autonomy in the organization – 1 team has undertaken a pilot project to act autonomously, generating performance and learning in high-level team; if the pilot was a success, and other teams could replicate the way they worked.
The objectives of the pilot team were to achieve business results 20% higher than in the previous year, in a collaborative, autonomous way (without relying on the managerial input of the CEO, based on the mutually reinforced direction), with a high level of professionalism and efficiency in operating mode. The pilot project lasted 1 year, during which the team was accompanied by the coach at the team meetings (the entire team, made up of managers and specialists), the coaching intervention being focused on creating a team of collaboration, efficiency, mutual support, learning and efficiency while achieving together the proposed goals. From meeting to meeting, changes in members’ behaviour begun: assuming shared responsibilities without waiting for their manager to follow up, exit from the “finding the guilty” or “scoring mistakes” pattern and focusing on conversations where things were honestly told and solutions came from all directions, choosing the solution that best served the common goal; efficient workflows without loss of resources; the joy of working together in meetings and the clarity of action plans. After 6 months, progress was monitored for the first business results and the team was pleased with the progress made; have continued to strengthen the way they work together. The pilot project was a success and the organization continued to create the framework for autonomy in other departments and other teams.