1st Edition

Stellar Management Teams

By Vesa Ristikangas, Tapani Rinne Copyright 2018
    238 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Management teams at all levels, and individual team members in particular, are often disengaged and disconnected from the management function itself. Statements such as, "we lack common goals or they are unclear", "I have no influence", "I am not listened to nor taken into account", and "I do not feel valued – actually, nobody does", are commonplace. The authors argue this is because we have been entrenched in an era of guru leadership but that it must come to an end if our management teams are to rise to the top. An individual is not capable of controlling the complicated system of an organization, with its countless variables, especially in conjunction with the rapid change in both the economy and market forces, which are unpredictable and uncontrollable. No matter how talented the individual, no one person is in a position to manage this complex system alone – not even a guru leader. 

    The authors contend that what is needed now are resilient trendsetters who will bring about a new era of top-performing teams that together form a "collective guru", which they refer to as a Stellar Management Team. 

    In this book, the reader undertakes a metaphorical journey to the stars, which symbolizes top-level interaction and collaboration. The journey is the development from an ordinary management team into a Stellar Management Team, which elevates its operation up to a new level of performance and success.

    Table of contents

    WAKE UP?

    PART ONE – Do you want to fly?

    1. Not thinking is heavy

    Provoke thinking with gravity factors

    Gravity Factor No. 1 - Emphasizing individual responsibility

    Gravity Factor No. 2 – Multitude of bilateral discussion

    Gravity Factor No. 3 – Dominance of numeric indicators

    Gravity Factor No. 4 - Tight schedules and overloaded agendas

    Gravity Factor No. 5 – Fixed roles

    Gravity Factor No. 6 – Director-centricity prevents taking responsibility

    Gravity Factor No. 7 – The loud ones override the quiet

    Slow thinking combined with fast decisions

    Hasty intuition takes us fast – even astray

    New thinking instead of being in a rut

    Stop and think together

    2. Systems thinking – basis of new thinking

    New elements from systems thinking

    The systems dictatorship

    Eight systemic ideas for stellar team designers

    Systemic Idea 1: There are invisible forces in the management team

    Systemic Idea 2: Paradoxes are compulsory

    Systemic Idea 3: Spontaneity creates miracles

    Systemic Idea 4: Resistance belongs to systems

    Systemic Idea 5: Everything affects everything in a system

    Systemic Idea 6: Leadership renews itself constantly

    Systemic Idea 7: Control is an illusion

    Systemic Idea 8: Change is a constantly changing phenomenon

    Systems oriented management team enables Superproductivity

    Success factors of The Stellar Team

    Towards the star

    The two levels: primary and secondary goals

    Core of Part One: thinking, systems and guiding star

    PART TWO – Secondary goals are the launch pad

    3. The course is set

    A management team needs a mission of its own

    The best mission is a defined mission

    Make your mission alive

    Make your guiding star visible

    Goal heat is dangerous

    (1) SMART goal narrows too much!

    (2) Goal may weaken morality?

    (3) Goals may prevent learnin

    (4) Goals may lead to over-performing

    (5) Linearity of goals is rare

    (6) Controlling through goals is an illusion

    Deepening goal thinking

    How to follow your star?

    Strategy makes your mind focused

    Individual significance of focus

    Focus of the strategy

    4. Respect internal and external stakeholders

    Customer experience is always right

    Customer experience is redeemed at contact points

    Keep your eyes open

    Internal stakeholders must be taken seriously

    Board of directors – Influential actor in the background

    Board of directors meets the expectations of Stellar Team

    5. Meeting practices in order

    Fine-tuning brains in the management team

    First: The brain is a machine for creating connections

    Second: The brain presents most decisions by intuition

    Third: We have the brain of herd animals

    Good decisions are induced with questioning

    New energy to the meetings

    Best practices of theme meetings

    Developing standard meetings

    Refreshing postures

    6. Success metrics in the cockpit

    Metrics connected to strategy

    Primary and secondary success metrics

    Priorities regarding measurement of primary goals

    7. Strengthening the launch pad

    Coincidence generates different results than control

    A different kind of success

    Chance will favour the conscious developer

    Coincidences as a new management team focus

    Constant or repeated renewal?

    Success focused operation

    How should this be?

    Core of Part Two: Secondary goals as launch pad

    PART THREE – Attraction of  primary goals

    8. Commitment is the core of guiding star

    There are two types of commitment within ourselves

    Two types of egoism – the right and the wrong one?

    A reward system steers

    Is collective responsibility a collective mistake?

    9. Trust creates energy

    Trust is worth exploring

    Trust in competence is easily detected

    Trust in agreement means integrity

    Communication styles build trust

    Four dimensions of behaviour

    Open communication style

    Straightforward communication style

    Reliable communication style

    Accepting communication style

    Trust as regards attitude is perceivable

    Individual tendency to trust

    To trust requires the courage to take risks

    Can you accelerate trust formation?

    1. Relation factors

    2. Hope and expectations

    3. Methods and techniques

    Sharing dreams is trusting

    10. Diversity and conflict competence

    It is useful to shy away from diversity

    Court of identical members

    Court makes war against divergence

    Heroes build peace

    Look in the mirror

    Behavioural styles in practice

    Management team is a sum of styles

    Influencing the structure of the management team

    Conflicts are "business as usual"

    Unclear goals blur the vision

    Attitude handicap is crippling

    Incompetence frustrates

    Changes confuse the team

    Time pressure plays on the nerves

    Lack of leadership creates shaky ground

    Overcoming the fear of conflicts

    Conflict competence is a team skill

    Ideas for overcoming fear of conflicts



    Meaning amplifier

    Development is possible

    11. Feedback puts wings on development

    Systems offer opportunities for operations

    Systems intelligent way of initiating change in a system called a team

    Correct your understanding

    Asking for feedback takes courage

    Acknowledging feedback requires consideration

    12. Collaboration is a choice

    Positive psychology supports The Stellar Team

    Positive psychology in the cockpit

    Management team is milking and being milked

    Appreciative approach inspires

    Common reflection and three levels of learning

    Core of Part Three: the attraction of primary goals

    PART FOUR – To the stars

    13. Hey, we are airborne!

    Right people in right places

    What’s inside the hat of a real leader?

    Speed to fly from role diversity

    Roles are a concept of interaction

    Roles and counter roles are dancing together

    Role chart of a Stellar Team member

    A. Influencer

    B. Strategist

    C. Developer

    D. Coach

    E. Synergy Builder

    Captain of the team

    A management team member can never take his hat off

    Disagreement poisons the system

    Member of a management team between a rock and a hard place

    The chair really matters

    Change of role must be recognized

    14. Resilience prevents motion sickness

    Change management in change

    Paths of change in the brain

    The northern neighbour of the USA

    My brain is unfinished but the situation is stable

    I think now like this – and I change my brain

    New paths of the change management team

    Planned and unexpected change

    Need to control is controlling

    Change causes dysfunctional behaviour – and always evokes emotions

    How does recovery from change take place?

    Resilience helps bouncing back

    Characteristics that speed up recovery from change

    Strong resilience is the sum of equally strong characteristics

    Spontaneous management team learns

    Change management team in urgency on a burning platform

    "Burning platform"

    "Sense of urgency"

    Amygdala makes decisions on a burning platform

    Elements of success: agility, competence and condition

    15. The journey is long when travelling alone

    A thinking management team

    A sensing management team

    A coaching management team

    Coaching leadership as philosophy and modus operandi

    How to create synergy?

    How does synergistic collaboration produce more than the sum of its parts?

    Effective means of building synergy

    Three basic needs of a traveller

    Core of Part Four: roles, resilience and synergy on our journey to the stars

    The journey of The Stellar Management Team continues…



    Appendix 1 – Coaching guide for management teams

    Coaching – individual co-driver on your journey to the stars

    Team coaching – boost your engine on the way to the stars

    Clarity for definitions

    Goals and results of team coaching in management teams

    Team coach supports towards the guiding star

    Appendix 2 – Self Care Guide for Management Teams

    References and Sources



    Vesa Ristikangas is a Senior Leadership Coach and Partner at BoMentis, a business and management consultancy in Finland.

    Tapani Rinne is a Trainer, Personal Resilience Coach, and CEO and founder of Ambitio Group, Finland.