AYL Podcast #9 Summary
Re-energizing Divisional Teams
Does your team or teams seem to be busy but just going through the motions of getting things done?
Have the team members or the collective group been fatigued by the demands of the workload for some time?
Do you struggle as the busy, even ‘’run off your feet’’ leader to find the energy to be the inspirational lead that you should be?
Does it seem that team members a now failing to connect to the bigger vision of the company as a whole?
Have the lines of individual roles blurred over time?
The above questions and the common responses are present more often than they should be.
If you are answering a yes to the majority of the questions presented here, perhaps it is time to consider taking the following action…..reenergizing your divisional team.
This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s possible that you could do this in a half day with a smaller team. IF you have several team members then you need more time to allow for contribution by each member. Two half days sessions should be sufficient. And of course there is always the exception. Remember….we are talking today about RE-ENERGIZING THE DIVISIONAL TEAM. If you have never set this up to begin with you may definitely require a bit more time.
Remember in such discussions we need to consider how we collect data when needed so that you get maximum contribution from individuals team members. Some items, such as values, can be extremely personal to many people. In such situations, I would suggest you learn to use post it notes to collect people s thoughts, collect them in a vessel which gives them privacy, and delegate someone to post them on the wall or white board ( whichever you use). While posting this information it should be clustered in like thoughts. In this manner you will be able to get the information out there with anonymity, and have everyone participate.
- Establish the divisional strategy based on alignment of the overall organizational strategy.
- Define the vision for this team to deliver on strategy (Who must we be as a team to deliver to the organization?).
- Identify and embrace the values of this team (What personal/professional values are important for us to uphold as a divisional team that are in absolute support of the organizational needs?).
- Develop and craft the divisional team’s mission statement if you haven’t done one or the mission statement needs to be refreshed. (What is your purpose, to whom, and how do you need to be to convey your intentions to all aligned groups and the greater organization?).
- Discuss, reach agreement and commitment. Record and distribute the following to team members:
- Discuss & Refresh – Who owns what on this team (role definition)? Look to your defined roles and job descriptions, if you don’t have them in place – they should be and you need to get busy developing them. Perhaps they have been in place for some time and need an updating. If you have the luxury of an HR department they should be able to support you in this endeavor. If not, you and the team have some work to do to be absolutely clear on this.
- Discuss & Refresh – How do we build a foundation of vulnerable trust? Think to how the team comes together in meetings, on tasks, in idea generation, in debriefs, in decision making and general discussion. What is the trust level? Can you be comfortably vulnerable with each other in discussions in order to be authentic? Strong levels of trust should be at the foundation of every team. It can take work to get there if it is not in place. A suggestion – you may wish to have someone external to the team facilitate such conversations. This is the time for a representative from Human Resources, or Organizational Development departments to be of service. You may wish to give consideration to an outside consultant or leadership coach to guide this type of meeting, you do need someone who has an objective ear to the discussion.
- What workplace behaviors arise from the values you have agreed to or refreshed?
- It is worthwhile to discuss and adopt an agreed upon language that you use that is respectful of others. e.g. Instead of ‘’being in conflict’’ can you and team members be comfortable with the phrase ‘’creative tension’’.
- Discuss & Refresh – How will we make decisions as a team?
- Discuss & Refresh – How will we communicate and collaborate?
- Discuss & Refresh – How will we resolve conflict?
- Discuss & Refresh – How will we hold each other accountable?
- Discuss & Refresh – Who do we, as a team, need to be to commit to collective success?
- Discuss & Refresh – How do we assure high performance?
Teams need to be conscious of how they treat and perform with other members. Dysfunctional teams can get in the way of performance for each other, for the department and for the organization as a whole. Putting the work into building greater trust on teams is vital to contribution, effectiveness and productivity. Refreshing the points that I have brought to you today is important – don’t be running on exhausted or stagnant agreements of past. Team members also change over time, you may have members who have not been part of prior team building processes. Remember, the dynamics of a team can change with even just one new member.
Doing such work with your team gives you leverage when something goes wrong. Agreeing to commitment to these areas makes the difficult conversation an easy one when you need to deal with challenging team situations. Refreshing such work is revitalizing and makes agreements highly relevant to the ever changing needs of your team and the organization.
To Better Leadership, Always!