I just had lunch at a local sandwich shop [Soulwich, on Orrington Avenue in Evanston, IL–4 stars on Yelp, I recommend you visit!]. The owner was sharing his misery a little bit, that because of his location, on a block that has a lot of vacant storefronts, and paralleled by two busy, lively streets to the east and west, not many people came down his street, and his business wasn’t as good as it should be.
“I should have listened to that old adage” he said “‘Location, location, location.’ … Even if there were a competing sandwich shop like Panera or Potbelly next door, business would be better.”
That got me thinking just a bit about ecosystems. No matter how good your individual product or team, if there isn’t health nearby–or really, if there is poor health nearby–your work will be affected. If your healthy-team members have to interact with members of a team in poor health, your team will be affected. If your healthy-team is guided by a poor-sighted governance system, one that doesn’t do a good job of prioritizing for value, your team will be adversely affected.
Look around at the ecosystem that surrounds your teams. Is there some change, even something small, even a competing team, that can improve the health of the ecosystem?