In the Office: Building Your Dream Team
Do you yearn to work in a development office where professional staff members are considered among the best in their field; where the entire staff works as a team to exceed program goals year after year; where no silos exist and everyone gets along famously; and where it’s rewarding and fun to go to work every day?
Of course you do. Who doesn’t? To make this ideal scenario a reality, you have to start with the team you already have in place.
A team is defined as a group of people working together toward a common goal where members share responsibility for the successful outcomes of the whole program, not just their individual contributions. If you’ve been successful in building a dream team in your development shop, you no doubt have a higher-performing fundraising program than those who are still dreaming of building such a team.
Development dream teams are formed by dynamic leaders who use a participatory form of management where interdependence is evident among empowered staff members who work in harmony as a single unit. The staff is aligned with a common purpose about the mission, vision and goals of the nonprofit organization and its philanthropy program. They embrace the core values of the team and equally share responsibility for the important function the development office plays within the organization.
There is a climate of trust where challenges and conflicts are considered healthy, and staff offer creative solutions to problems big and small, while recognizing and respecting differences in each other. The team is future focused, seeing change as an opportunity for growth, and members are focused more on results than on tasks. They ask questions and get clarification when needed in order to effectively carry out their individual commitments. They make the best use of the creative talents of other members of the team. They have fun in their work; they are flexible; they respect and value the partnership created by the team; and they’re always striving for “win-win” outcomes. Does this sound too good to be true?