Innovation Outcomes Brochure Team Assessment & Development ______________________________________________________________________________
Innovation and Enhanced Performance Through Team Development
A key element in developing teams and in creating organizational cultures that foster creativity and innovation is the concept of alignment. Sometimes team development is an initiative that is associated with reorganization, restructuring, downsizing activity, or a business combination or strategic business alliance (e.g., a joint venture, business partnership, merger, or acquisition). In these situations, we assist teams in dealing with breakthrough change, which also holds the potential for breakthrough innovation.
Additionally, we work with teams to initiate and/or manage incremental change by using a formal process to translate business strategy into tactical action plans. In either of these scenarios (i.e., breakthrough change or incremental change), we work jointly with clients to design, or redesign, the organizational structures that integrate culture, processes, technology, and people, since all of these elements form the necessary foundation for growth, profitability, viability, and innovation. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Assessing Team Dynamics
Our team development initiatives typically begin with a team assessment. We assess team structure and alignment as well as the overall functionality of the team, as a whole. By observing team dynamics that are unique to a particular team, we're able to identify gaps in team performance and work with clients to close those gaps. We do this by identifying the needs of each team member and evaluating the extent to which needs are being met (or not being met) by the team.
Once team assets and potential liabilities have been identified, we construct a team development model that's customized to the particular client's team. Our team initiatives typically proceed with data gathering aimed at designing a professionally facilitated team process. When the team development initiative has been defined, we meet with the team leader to discuss the design of an off-site meeting in which a strategic, operations, or project plan is produced, through team input and interaction.
We specifically focus on helping clients address areas of concern and continually expand their repertoire of skills for managing differences as well as other important skills. At the same time that we work with teams, we often simultaneously work with individuals on a one-to-one basis, to develop team leadership competencies and other skills. Additionally, we typically conduct organizational assessments, to determine whether organizational processes, structure, technology, and role clarity support team efforts. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Evaluating Team Effectiveness
When conducting assessments of individuals, teams, and organizations, we identify strengths that can be built upon as well as potential vulnerabilities and areas in need of improvement. The second step in our team development process is to assess how effectively team members are interacting with one another and the degree to which they're achieving organizational, divisional, or unit goals. We also evaluate where a team falls in the stages of a team's natural evolution (i.e., forming, norming, storming, or performing).
During the assessment stage, we also set goals for the team development process that could include any or all of the following:
facilitate creativity and innovation within the team
define the team's role within a department, function, division, group, operating unit, or organization
clarify team member roles and responsibilities
create a plan to meet team goals and objectives
develop synergy within the team
achieve alignment through agreement on and commitment to team goals and objectives
enhance interpersonal relationships among team members
establish ground rules for communication, feedback, problem solving, etc.
build a firm foundation for trust, support, and respect among team members
improve the team's overall performance and capability
Although team performance can be assessed at any time, team development is best accomplished in conjunction with individual training and/or coaching. (See our Leadership Development, Coaching, and Planning & Strategy brochures.) Our team development models are based on the best practices of innovation leaders yet are customized to consider the unique characteristics of the particular teams that we're working with.
How are team development services delivered? Depending upon specific client needs, our team development process typically occurs in 4 or 5 stages. To learn about the process, read our article on the Team Development Process. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Team Development Outcomes
development is often a complex process that not only yields a tangible
plan (e.g., strategic plan, operating plan, project plan, etc.), but
also increases the team's awareness of its assets and liabilities.
Additionally, team development through planning is a process in which
the team is able to observe and enhance its own performance. At the
conclusion of team development processes, it's expected that individuals
and the teams on which they serve will have developed the following
cohesiveness and congruence in strategy and action
clear goals and objectives
clear roles with task specialization and an equal division of labor
lively discussion among group members
team leaders who foster cooperation and are not unduly deferred to
active listening with communication occurring laterally as well as vertically
praise and recognition freely given
a relaxed and informal atmosphere where feelings, ideas, and concerns are freely expressed
mutual assistance as opposed to team members struggling for control
mechanisms in place to ensure that critical agenda items get addressed
freedom and ability to express disagreement
strong negotiations skills and ability to resolve conflict
most decisions reached by consensus
high commitment to team success as well as individual success
__________________________________________________________________________________________ To read what clients say about our team development services, click here. __________________________________________________________________________________________
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