team development

Where is business value created in your organisation?

The team, as well as the individual, is increasingly being considered a basic building block of organisations, and team-based working the modus operandi of organisational success.

There are many definitions of teams, including:

An energetic group of people committed to achieving common objectives, who work well together and enjoy doing so, and who produce high quality results.

Team-based working has also been defined as:

...a philosophy or an attitude about the way in which people work together where decisions are made by teams of people rather than by individuals and at the closest possible point to the customer or client.

Most organisations accept that effective team performance leads to greater efficiency and effectiveness, but often the nature and complexity of the team environment means that organisations have difficulty in designing effective teams and managing, measuring and developing performance. This is what team-development or team-building is all about. How can this be accomplished?

At DWHRC, we base our team-development interventions on the input-process-outcome model of teams, where the team is viewed as a dynamic team system. This always includes a robust diagnostic phase, in order to clearly establish the team's strengths, weaknesses and development needs at the outset. This is usually carried out using a range of different methods, for example:

  • Interviews with key stakeholders, such as the team-leader, team-members, customers and other teams with whom the team in question interacts.
  • The use of robust psychometric tools such as the Leap Team Index (LTI), which focuses on the key aspects of team effectiveness and functionality. (To see an example LTI report, please click here).
  • Observation of team-meetings.

The major advantages of this approach to "informed" team-development, as compared to a more general "black box", "one-size-fits-all" approach are:

  • Development activities can be precisely targeted at identified areas, which are key to the performance and "climate" of the team, thereby maximising the use of scarce resources.
  • Team-member commitment is encouraged via their involvement from the outset.
  • As the LTI is a multi-person feedback instrument, it provides team-members with an opportunity to anonymously describe their own team.
  • The LTI also contains elements that relate specifically to the critical aspects of team leadership. In effect, this provides the team leader with 360° feedback on their team-leadership capabilities.
  • The LTI can be used at the start and at the end of a team-development process, to assess the extent to which the team has improved its effectiveness and functionality.

The actual team-development process can then be designed on a truly bespoke basis. The process could contain activities such as:

  • Team away-days, designed to help the team acquire specified team-working skills, such as decision-making, conflict-resolution innovation and creativity.
  • Facilitated pairs sessions with key individuals within the team-system, designed to improve the quality of inter-personal relationships and thus effectiveness.
  • Coaching of individual team-members, including the team leader, to address performance-critical issues on an individual basis.

Please contact us to discuss how this approach to team-development could be applied in your organisation.

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