This is going to be a series of posts about teams, some of my favorite work. With increased complexity and collaboration, team forming or “socialization” is more important than ever.
The last couple years I have worked on some really quick, rewarding team building projects. What has been so different and fun is that clients didn’t call me when things were going wrong, they called me when they were launching the team. This is exciting. It is also a lot less expensive for the client and most often creates better outcomes. “Fixing a team” is messy and time consuming. Facilitating a team launch is fast in comparison and it will set them up for success.
The more I work with teams, the more I appreciate the intricacy and magic of them. Intricacy is wired in most of the time now. If your team is set up right it has only the people in the room required to accomplish the mission. Depending upon the Charter, you will have varied experience, knowledge, and strengths to leverage. You will have diversity of personality types. Add to this a big goal and you have a challenging road ahead.
The magic comes from setting the team up in such a way that they access and celebrate all the talent and energy in the room. If you have been on a wildly successful team, you will understand the magic part.
Forming is so important because it sets the framework for a productive, effective and enjoyable team. Though each team launch is a little different they always have these pieces:
Clients sometimes think that their virtual, global and “fast” teams (the charter is targeted and the time frame short) don’t need launching. To the contrary, it is even more important in my experience. I believe all teams benefit from some “forming” activities.
It’s also common for executives to have many seemingly disparate groups reporting to them. The business units may all have different missions and work, but they all share some foundations: they all need to know the rules for the road to be successful with the leader, they most likely have some dependencies in their work and they for sure can benefit from better leveraging “peer power”. Even when the client doesn’t think they need team building, the team will tell me they do. Will team building slow the team start up a bit? Yes. Will it take some investment of your time? Yes. But the team will perform better and the return on investment will be worth it. In this instance, slowing down to go faster works.
Welcome to Moira's blog. I write a (mostly) monthly post about the work of building better work places: people strategies, systems, teams and leaders.