Innovation Outcomes Team Development Process ______________________________________________________________________________
Stage 1: Assessing Team Function
Early in the engagement, we work with the team leader to identify the purpose of the team development process and to establish intended outcomes from the team leader's perspective. We then meet individually, with each team member, to identify team development needs and intended outcomes of team development, from that team member's perspective. During this process, our goal is to simply assess what's working and not working, with regard to team processes and team dynamics, and how the team's efforts can be enhanced.
Once data is gathered from individual team members, we begin design of an off-site team facilitation process. The format used for each particular team we work with is based on many factors, including the length of time that team members have worked together, primary agendas that the team is working on, expectations of the team, etc. However, a typical starting point involves sharing of the data collected in individual interviews with the team leader. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Stage 3: Building on Team Assets and Addressing Liabilities
Depending upon the goals of team development and the information gathered from individual meetings, a next step is to typically share data collected in individual interviews with the team as a whole. We might then progress with discussions about the team's assets and potential liabilities as well as differences that might be leveraged. This begins an awareness process wherein team members look to find ways to play to strengths and to support weaknesses of other team members. In other team development scenarios, we might begin the process by guiding the team through a formal planning process, working toward a final goal of producing either a strategic or operating plan or a detailed project plan. While doing this, we simultaneously assess group dynamics and provide feedback to the team leader (and the team at large) to share what we're witnessing, in terms of team dynamics that either support or potentially inhibit the team's performance.
We specifically focus on helping clients to address areas of concern and to continually expand their repertoire of conflict management and other skill sets. While working with clients to develop or enhance team skills, we've often simultaneously worked with individuals on a one-to-one basis, to develop individual leadership competencies and skill sets. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Stage 4: Producing a Plan and Performance Scorecard
At the end of the off-site planning session, a draft of a preliminary action plan is usually produced by the team, and responsibilities for certain strategies and supporting action items are outlined. Accountabilities are also assigned during the team facilitation, and if time permits, a preliminary timeline is constructed.
Depending upon the amount of time that's been allocated to the off-site portion of the team development engagement, we might conclude with next steps for the team, to continue the process, or we might prepare the team for a second planning facilitation meeting that allows for a more complete plan. In either event, however, the plan produced by the team generally contains tasks, accountabilities, timelines, and clearly defined intended outcomes. It's subject to review and revision by team members subsequent to the planning meeting, and after that, it becomes the foundation for a final, but flexible, plan.
Business scorecards are then developed, in conjunction with strategic and operating (or project) plans. Scorecards allow the team to evaluate progress against plans; to make adjustments if necessary; and to celebrate milestones, as goals and objectives are achieved. We recommend that the plan initially be reviewed at least monthly and adjusted to a quarterly basis thereafter. However, many organizations that are dealing with formal change initiatives, such as downsizing and divestiture, M & A integration, or restructuring and redesign need to review their plans on a more frequent basis. __________________________________________________________________________________________
Stage 5: Providing Assistance with Plan
We're often retained to work with clients
on plan implementation as well as plan facilitation. Sometimes there
are implementation obstacles with regard to the planning process itself,
but at other times, implementation issues are caused by conflict
occurring between a few individuals, between teams, or between
departments, divisions, or functional areas. Certainly teams are better positioned to discuss,
negotiate, and resolve conflict when roles and expectations are clear,
so that is a starting point. Personal and organizational accountability
is also enhanced through efforts to achieve or enhance role clarity,
since it is primarily through role clarity and accountability mechanisms
that organizations are able to close the gap between intention and
In many instances, however, organizational conflict
extends beyond specific teams and often occurs because
of cross-functional accountabilities that are in need of further
definition. We help team members resolve conflict by using individual
"contracts" that define specific expectations and desired results of
each party. Through professional facilitation, clients are
encouraged to resolve differences, manage expectations of one another,
and work more collaboratively toward agreed-upon goals.
__________________________________________________________________________________________ To return to the Team Development brochure, click here. __________________________________________________________________________________________
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