Team Development Services
Building capacity in any economic environment
The goal of most team building efforts is to transform a group of co-workers into what Katzenbach and Smith define as a “real team:”
A “real team” is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. (The Wisdom of Teams, 1993)
The key phrase here is “. . . they hold themselves mutually accountable.” In most instances, a team is focused on a specific objective or purpose, and this is clearly evident in the team’s actions and behaviors. They use collaborative, solution-oriented processes to reach a consensus about their plan of action, methodology for implementation and continuous improvement, and criteria for success.
A team is a dynamic unit. For teams to function correctly it is also crucial that they be formed of people with requisite skills and work styles. “Complementary skills” can work well together only if they exist in the first place. Use of a professional assessment when selecting team members can ensure that the skills and work styles necessary for a successful outcome are represented on the team.
So, do you have a “group” or a “team?” When a work group has become a team and is functioning well, you will see them:
- interacting with each other often, throughout the day;
- clarifying and confirming action plans;
- adapting the plan of action, as new information is shared;
- helping each other, without being asked;
- focused on their mission; and
- celebrating their successes.
From your perspective, the most important result will be improved focus and productivity, fewer headaches and more engaged, happier employees.
Team Building Process Elements:
We match our clients’ needs to a toolbox of available team-building methods. This ensure that team-building activities will produce the desired outcomes. Facilitated events will meet the needs of some key teams while team-building exercises and training are sufficient for others. Broadly, team development includes some or all of the following:
- Baseline assessment — Determine your starting point — An assessment of current team functioning is always warranted with the depth of assessment varying by need. Understanding how well the work group or team performs prior to intervention helps determine the most suitable change processes.
- Create a collaborative team-building environment — Include the team leader working side-by-side with team members.
- Assess team member work styles — Determine behavioral work styles and identify how those styles affect teamwork.
- Assess team dynamic functioning — Several tools are are available to identify how the team works as a unit. Some simple ones are available online at no cost. More sophisticated assessments may also be used to diagnose team functioning.
- Select team interaction and development activities — Interactive games create a working environment that may be competitive, but when team-appropriate behaviors are encouraged, the outcomes change. A variety of low cost activities is available to meet the need of specific teams.
- Participative events — When needed to serve a specific purpose, these facilitator-led events can take the form of outdoor events (e.g. low and high ropes courses, expeditions (scavenger hunts, orienteering) and sailing, or indoor events such as cooking schools, computer games and mystery theaters. Investment ranges according to complexity, time, location and facilitation requirements.
- Conduct post assessment — Determine the degree to which the desired results were achieved and construct additional action plans as needed.
Team-building is a cost effective and often enjoyable means of improving team productivity in any organization.