Leaders are responsible for monitoring the market and the organizational landscape to identify opportunities, maladaptive organizational practices and cultural issues that will impact performance. As a result, I am frequently contacted to facilitate the development of a team through a combination of group dialogue and training.
Generally I approach the development process by conducting an initial project planning conversation with the executive sponsor of the team. Typically the focus of this discussion is to identify the goals of the team and to understand the perceived barriers to performance. At this meeting I generally explain my process for team development which includes:
1. Conducting an Assessment
The first step is to understand the perspectives of team members and sometimes relevant stakeholders such as customers or internal groups who must interact with the team. The assessment process may include 1-1 interviews with targeted people, focus groups with key groups or a survey.
2. Designing the Plan
Following the assessment, I collaborate with the executive to develop a framework for developing the team. This framework includes identifying the type and sequence of learning that is required to increase team performance and developing a schedule for the learning events to occur. The plan is then shared with the team for feedback.
3. Developing Materials
Once a plan of action is determined, I typically will develop learning materials that target issues identified in the assessment. Learning materials may include training guides, models, articles or structured experiences. All materials are customized to meet the needs of the team.
4. Facilitating the Sessions
At this point the participation of the team is critical; my focus is to develop a safe environment for candid conversation as a first and critical step in the team development process. Throughout the sessions, I work to ensure that all membersí perspectives are voiced and heard, to draw attention to communication patterns, problem solving and decision making practices and to provide overall guidance to the team as they discuss the topic.
5. Evaluating Progress
Usually the plan includes a check-point that provides the team with the opportunity to evaluate the process. This is generally handled by a conversation with the executive sponsor and a survey of participants.
When Should You Contact me?
Your group is charged with managing a change
Market conditions are threatening the well being of the organization and placing tremendous stress on your team
You or team members are new to the organization or to each other
Team members are operating in silos
Your teamís performance is suffering due to interpersonal conflicts
Youíre interested in developing formal processes and practices to create a more disciplined approach to innovation or execution