Team Development

|Team Development
Team Development 2017-05-23T19:16:07+00:00

Make Your Team a Team

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Communications among team members are ineffective or counterproductive.
  • Meetings are focused more on airing grievances than solving problems.
  • Team members seem to be working at cross purposes.
  • Individuals focus more on self-protection than on collaboration.
  • Recurring issues go unresolved.

What is this costing your organization?

These symptoms translate into delays, backtracking, confusion at lower levels, customer or employee dissatisfaction and, ultimately, profit.  These costs are often hidden but can be very high.

When is it time to do something about it?

Newly formed teams will save weeks in getting up to speed if they start off by getting aligned. Well-established teams often fall into bad habits without knowing it and may profit from stopping to assess where they are. If these problems exist, they rarely get better on their own and now is the time to do something about it.

Here is how I can help you

I help teams address tough issues

I do this by helping teams acquire more practical communication habits, often breaking down barriers that have been in place for years. I first meet executive team members one-on-one, and then work directly with both the executive team and individuals to systematically identify and resolve barriers to success.

Things do get better

  • Bad habits that everyone has been afraid to address are addressed
  • Conversations are more direct with less beating around the bush
  • Less time and energy is focused on personalities
  • Meetings are shorter and more productive
  • Business objectives are achieved faster and better

Most organizational initiatives fail!

This is a surprise to no one. So, why do people continue to launch such initiatives, only to watch slowly lose momentum and disappear in a fog? It is because teams fail to systematically assess the risks inherent in any such endeavor–and to actively mitigate those risks before they become fatal.

What you can do about it.

I can ride along with your initiative team as it moves its key ideas from conception to results. I can help your initiative team to:

  • Analyze past initiatives to identify lessons learned.
  • Focus on exactly who is expected to do what in response to the initiative.
  • Ensure communications are shaped and aligned with the perspectives of those who are expected to take action.
  • Engage the hearts and minds of those who are expected to change as a result of the initiative.
  • Identify and mitigate the risks inherent to any organizational initiative.

The root cause of project failure is ineffective communication

Poor communications lead to misaligned expectations–and these lead to rework, cost overruns, and delays.  Project teams that invest the resources up front in establishing clear expectations and effective communications reap the rewards throughout the project.

How I can help

I help project teams establish and maintain effective communication using the following approaches:

Project alignment meetings: I will facilitate a start-up meeting of all team members and major stakeholders. The purpose is to align expectations and create a common vocabulary and framework for subsequent communications.

Pulse checks:  I will identify and resolve communication issues before they become serious through occasional interviews or surveys.

Issue resolution: When communications and collaboration break down, I will interview key team members and stakeholders to clarify the issues. Then, I will meet with individuals and groups to realign expectations and find common ground for collaboration.

Team members are more effective when they understand each other

I use team assessments to understand team dynamics and, in particular, how the characteristics of  team members complement each other.  We may choose from a variety of approaches, including:

Structured interviews with individuals: This allows me to understand the divergent perspectives within a team before I work with the group as a whole.

4-color style assessment: A high-level “color-based” assessment of styles is an efficient way to begin a conversation about team relationships.

In-depth assessment: A more detailed on-line assessment provides individuals with a deeper understanding of their own approach to their work – and the team with strategies for capitalizing on their differences.

Team events and workshops: Team assessments work most effectively if they are integrated with a team development activity. This allows team members to better understand each other and to increase the level of collaboration and trust.

The power of a team is a direct function of the alignment of the ideas of its members.

Team Development Examples

Executive Team Assessment
Project Alignment
Four Founders Air Differences
Executive Team Leadership
Skeletons Out of the Closet
Acquired Companies Align Leadership