Start with WE!
Hardly any other structure is better able to deal with the complexity and the resulting necessity for decision-making in forward-looking organizations better than teams – teams are the ideal source of success, innovation and belonging. However, in the absence of key elements of goal-oriented cooperation, no matter how well trained individual players may be, they cannot replace team success.
The “WE” in teams has changed: shorter time spent in teams, multi-teaming, remote working, peer working, individualization, all these elements increase the pressure on the success of collaboration. Nothing has changed – quite the opposite, the need has increased for a stable foundation of trust and the ability to deal with conflicts and find solutions.
Join us for your first exploratory analysis. How is your team – your WE – doing?
“Henning Keber and Paolina Virga from Process One (today P1) designed and led an innovative virtual concept for our team offsite.
This has enabled us to take a big step forward in team development at the same time work through many specialized topics.
Through innovation and flexibility, they have proven that coaching and team development also work in a virtual environment.”
Marcel Halberg, Group Leader, DZ Bank AG
Insight into your team – The Team Culture Wheel
We developed the Team Culture Wheel as an instrument to diagnose teams and the “state” they are in on the basis of the twelve team enhancers developed by Dave Francis and Don Young.
From Francis and Young’s perspective, these team enhancers define the team culture. The higher the level that these parameters are reflected in the team, the more successful the team is.
In many of the team development programs that we run, we use the Team Culture Wheel as a kick-off to find out where the teams stand on the topic at hand. The team members rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 (not happy at all) to 10 (complete satisfaction).
The results, and in particular the different perspectives of the various team members, provide a good starting point for further dialog and interventions.
What is it exactly?
The term “team development” denotes the way in which procedures, structures, processes and relationships within a group are developed, implemented and optimized. The focus of the concept is not on short-term action, but rather on longer-term, continuous development. Sustainable team development is characterized by various phases in which the team development is reviewed and, where necessary, adapted in order to make the best possible use of the potential of each individual within the group. By its very nature, team development is a dynamic process and in a state of constant flux due to the personal commitment of each individual.
The purpose of team development methods is always to improve the effectiveness of a team. The goal of team development is to unleash the full potential of all participants in their collective work, thereby increasing the productivity of the team as a whole. This includes the leader as a potential team leader. It makes sense to invest in sustainable team development, as highly efficient teams can make much greater contributions to the company’s success than “loosely” assembled project groups, which in the worst case can even slow down processes and make them uneconomical as a result of disagreements or lack of structure. In general, the following aspects play a role in successful team development:
Systemic team development is broken down into four to five phases, each deploying a range of methods to progressively develop the ideal form of collaboration. As we are dealing with people, these phases are highly dynamic and can vary in length, content and composition, should the individual team to be developed so require. In Bruce Tuckman’s model, the five phases consist of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.
The beginning of the process, alternatively referred to as the “orientation phase.” In this phase, the focus is on the team members getting to know each other. They get a feeling for each other and roles are assigned for the first time. Various methods, such as confidence-building exercises, lay the foundation for the subsequent “team spirit.”
(Storming phase, confrontation phase)
While the beginning phase is still characterized by restraint and conflict avoidance, the next phase is about openly identifying and resolving initial conflicts and problems. It may be necessary to adjust the definition of tasks and the assignment of roles. In this phase, the typical “power struggles” can and should be identified, openly addressed and systematically resolved using a variety of methods.
(Norming, organization phase)
After the initial period and familiarization, tasks, processes and rules are finally established and defined in this phase. As a result of the previous steps and experience with communication, the team is already dealing with conflicts in a different way – striving for a joint solution is more important than “stonewalling” and clinging to specific positions.
The last phase of team development is characterized by the transition from theory to practice. The focus is on the concrete performance of teamwork and team tasks. The team has now achieved a high degree of self-organization and efficiency and tasks are discussed and dealt with in a constructive and collaborative manner. The established structures, methods and processes form the basis for independent decision-making and self-directed success monitoring. In this phase, it is particularly important that the leader supports his or her teams in exercising their own autonomy.
If the team was only formed for a specific period of time or purpose, the final phase should be used to reach a conclusion after the goal has been achieved, before the team is disbanded. This provides valuable lessons learned for all involved – for both team members and managers.
As already explained, the Tuckman phase model forms a good basis for successful teamwork, but should be individually adapted in detail to the specific requirements of the task at hand.
Not every group of people or employees is automatically a team. Unfortunately, nowadays the term is used too often and too indiscriminately. However, the term is actually not just an idea, but rather an aspiration: the aspiration to be able to achieve complex goals in the best and fastest possible way by bringing together people with different knowledge and skills. In addition to the individual strengths of the respective team members, successful teams are characterized by the clear allocation of tasks and transparent roles as well as constructive conflict resolution and autonomous definition of decision-making processes.
In the book “The five dysfunctions of a team” Patrick Lencioni describes functions that make a team successful. In addition, he also defines the dysfunctions as a counterpart, i.e. the unfortunately frequently encountered opposite symptoms.
The prerequisite for a good, highly motivated team is therefore a focus on clear goals, the assumption of responsibility by all participants, and the commitment of each individual. In addition, mutual trust and the ability to deal with conflicts are elementary foundations for good teamwork.
In addition, the following attributes characterize the development of a successful team:
Generally speaking, a team has been successfully developed when the collective performance of the team exceeds the sum of the potential performance of each individual.
The size of the team is mainly determined by the tasks at hand and the competencies required to accomplish them. Where possible, effective teams usually consist of between two and eight people, with a maximum of 12. This enables minimal communication effort and ensures the highest possible level of team identification.
The primary task is to develop the team so that it can efficiently solve the task it has been given and implement it in the best possible way. Through the methodology of team development, team members gain a much better knowledge and understanding of themselves, their colleagues and the relationships among them. This yields positive effects far beyond the actual team development measure itself in terms of:
Team development offers companies the following advantages, among others:
In the age of globalization and “New Work,” it is not uncommon for project teams to consist of employees who work in different locations or even on different continents or time zones. This is not a knock-out criterion for successful team development, but it is a challenge. We have different approaches and solutions at hand with which we can also successfully address these scenarios.
Effective team development relies on agile methods, adapted to the particular objective and task and the current state of personnel development. Our coaches decide on a case by case basis which method is to be used, whether and how teambuilding and outdoor elements are to be included. By way of example, we would like to present two possible methods: