The Board of Directors is an old tool created by traditional businesses in order to have an oversight for their practices, and to ensure the company is run by the most qualified and experienced workers possible. They therefore typically operate under traditional team structures: 9-5 work days, vertical power structures, strictly rules-oriented. But there is a steadily growing movement to adapt the traditional team into the more free-flowing style of the digital age - widely known as the dynamic team.
A dynamic team will be collaborative, trusting, flexible, and customer-focused rather than profit-focused. Work days and locations are dictated by the worker, and so long as the work gets done the organisation is happy with the arrangement. Dynamic team environments lead to happier working conditions, faster innovation, and a more productive output. So how can you make your team more dynamic?
Team-Building is Dream-Building
Listen, we know, everyone hates an icebreaker. The cliche’d old team-building exercises are awkward and uncomfortable and just end with you knowing one “random” fact about each coworker, rather than anything real about them. But in order for a dynamic team to function smoothly, there needs to be trust and understanding between all involved.
You know what works as a great precursor to those lame icebreaker activities? Communicating with the team about who they are, what they want out of the organisation, and how they prefer to operate in a group. Be considerate. Ask them what kind of team-building they’ve done before, what’s worked and what hasn’t. Talk about their hobbies and interests, and try and incorporate them in creative ways.
Is the team, on the whole, a group of active, sporty people? Try a handball tournament or soccer match. Are they nerdy? Maybe try a trivia game, or, if you’re up to the challenge, a Dungeons and Dragons session. Extroverts, party people? A simple dinner together, maybe karaoke. Creatives? Try painting, go to a concert, or hold a team bake-sale. If they’re all unique - which is very likely - just grab lunch or a coffee together and chat. Don’t force it, just foster it.
Not every team will be so cut-and-dry. Keep up the communication and gauge reactions from each team member individually. Being receptive to the team’s needs not only helps you figure out how to move forward, it also builds the team’s trust in you. Plan with them, rather than for them. It might take a few goes, but once it clicks for everyone, you’ll notice the difference immediately. While you’re working alongside of your team members, keep an eye out for their processes, how they get their work done, and how they might match up with other group members.
If a project arises, assign a sub-committee of those most suited to the task to it. Working and accomplishing something together is a huge boost to inter-personal confidence, and is an effective way to foster healthy relationships amongst your team.
Transitioning your board or volunteer team from a traditional, rigid structure into the more free-form, trust-based dynamic model is a good way to foster an environment of happiness, innovation, and productivity.
There might be some hurdles, sure, but working on them collaboratively can keep the stress down and build stronger bonds between your whole team. Give it a try!