"Nothing has changed. I have changed, therefore, everything has changed.
Flour, yeast, water, and all the other ingredients of a loaf of bread will never be eatable we hire unless someone to mix them in the right proportions, make the dough and bake it. If good bread is a metaphor for a good team, then the ingredients of the bread, by themselves, are not a piece of bread. Thus, the components of a team, by themselves, are not a team, unless there is kneading, fitting, and what many managers are afraid of - baking.
There is no way to get good bread without baking, and there is no way to get a good team if its ingredients are not exposed to higher temperatures, stress, and difficulties. Both inside and outside the team. Stress at work is inevitable for people who want to develop.
Similarly, a talented team has its ingredients - first and foremost - people. Then the processes, then the goals, then the culture, the infrastructure, the relationships with customers, partners, and suppliers. Even if you have the perfect people, with clear goals, organized processes, and good relationships, they will not become an excellent team if there is no one to unite them. Someone to knead them into a nice dough.
What does it mean to knead the dough? Simply put, connect the components. Let people understand the goals. Adapt processes to ambitious goals. Not the other way around. If you follow this path - to change your goals, because of some internal processes - at some point, you will find yourself with a team composed of many doers and few thinkers.
Once the kneading is done - people already know each other, are aware of the goals and priorities, have a feeling that they belong to a whole, to a dough.
When the kneading has already been done, the fermentation follows. During leavening, the microorganisms in the yeast convert the sugars into carbon dioxide, which swells the dough. For the dough to rise well, it must be provided with a suitable temperature. The right temperature is a metaphor for the care you need to provide to your people. They should feel comfortable, have clarity, good relationships, and know their zodiac signs. The latter, of course, is not mandatory. But it helps.
In the rising stage, your role as a manager may require some withdrawal. Let the yeast microorganisms do their work on their own. This means leaving people's natural interests and inclinations to achieve their goals to be left to develop and synchronize with each other. It may be better to leave the kitchen and leave your people to fend for themselves. Trust the natural processes.
Of course, here you risk getting to where your dough rolls - it swells bubbles appear on the surface and it smells strong. Bread made from leavened dough is not dangerous, but it is of poorer quality and not very pleasant.
So is the overworked team. It is still a team, but of poor quality. At some point, because of over-care by managers, people on teams may behave like children in kindergarten. Or to invent fictitious problems that don't exist but help them use their intelligence and working hours in a way that is fun for them.
The last stage is baking. It comes a little closer to rising in that your intervention is not particularly needed. But only if you knead the dough well. And if you get the right degrees.
If you knead it well, you do not let it roll. In the baking stage, the dough will just do its job and turn into bread. But you have to take care of the right baking temperature. It is a metaphor for the difficulties your team will go through. If your team can only deal with difficulties up to 220 degrees, more degrees can only lead to more damage. Not to more or better bread.
You cannot make wonderful bread without baking. Nor can a wonderful team be created if it does not go through some difficulties and does not deal with them.
If you balance kneading and baking well, you can finally have a piece of excellent bread. In other words - an excellent team.
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