The majority of tasks in organisations are beyond the capability of the individual. Team and group working are consequently an inevitable consequence of contemporary working life. Belonging to a team can be an opportunity to develop real synergies that can emerge from the assimilation of diverse strengths and abilities. However this is not always the case. Team working can also reduce individuals to the lowest common denominator, stifle creativity, encourage bystander apathy and promote groupthink. Consequently, understanding and developing the collective strengths within a team and linking this to the team objectives is a critical process in the evolutionary cycle of any group. Team development is an intervention in which a team becomes more aware of its own process of working together and acts to create a climate that encourages and values the contributions of team members and maximises their strengths and their performance. Team member’s energies are directed toward problem solving, task effectiveness and maximising the use of all resources to achieve the team’s purpose. Team effectiveness is enhanced by the team’s commitment to reflection, performance review and ongoing development and evaluation. According to Hawkins,(2011) there are 5 stages in team development (Fig 1)
Fig 1 The 5C model of high performing teams
Our Approach to Team Development
The success of a high performing team not only depends on the work that is put into getting the ‘task’ done, but in evaluating and improving the way the group functions or process. We have considerable experience working with teams at all stages of development to assist them assess their current state of team functioning and improve the effectiveness with which they operate together. In facilitating a team workshop, we utilise a range of tools and processes, including individual and team profiles such as the MLQ Team, Hogan Profiles and Team Diagnostic Survey ( Hackman, 2005) to help diagnose the team’s strengths and development areas. Key stakeholder feedback is incorporated at this stage.
Other areas covered include;
• How does the team hold itself accountable? • Does the team have a shared vision and purpose? • How do team members give each other feedback? • How does the team align strengths and roles? • How effective is the communication - internally & externally? • How effectively does the team manage conflict? • How effectively does the team make decisions? • What kind of leadership style does the team endorse? • What is the team’s relationship with its leader? • How well does the team balance its focus on task, behaviour and learning?
When to use our team development services?
• New teams, where there is a strong focus on getting to know one another and understand common values within the team • Existing teams where the team members are looking to improve their (already sound) performance and become a high performing team • Existing teams where there is considerable dysfunction and team members are looking to repair relationships and improve functioning • Mergers and integrations where previously distinct teams are being combined • Teams where a significant number of team members have undergone individual leadership coaching and you are looking to leverage these insights at a team level