How to Take Your Team to the Next Level in 30 Days
Successful teams do the work AND they work on the WAY they do the work.
Go further faster by working on the WAY you work.
The Magic Wand:
If you waved a magic wand over your team, what would emerge when the smoke clears?
During a team meeting, make a list of words that describe the team you aspire to develop. (Yes, you love your team. But what would cause you to love it even more?)
Describe your aspirational team.
- Energetic team.
- Accountable team.
- Interactive team.
- Decisive team.
- Growth-oriented team.
- Happy team.
- Courageous team.
- Focused team.
- Compassionate team.
- Organized team.
- Supportive team.
- Visionary team.
- Flexible team.
- Solution-oriented team.
- Collaborative team.
- Proactive team.
- Innovative/creative team.
- Dependable team.
- Candid team.
- Trusting team.
- In-your-face team.
Have everyone on the team circle three team-qualities from your combined list that they would love to develop. Tabulate the results and pick the ‘winner’. If there is no clear winner, create a new list from each team member’s top three selections and ask everyone to choose their top one.
Suppose the winner is ‘Accountable team’.
Ask each team member to define accountability. Discuss and craft a team-definition of accountability. Write it on the white board.
Complete this sentence with actions/behaviors. “I see accountability when …”
- Clear deadlines are publicly known.
- Team members declare their deliverables at the end of the meeting.
- Every project has a champion.
- People celebrate progress based on milestones.
- Missed deadlines are publicly discussed and new strategies adopted.
Choose one behavior from your list that everyone will intentionally practice this week. Next week choose a different behavior. (Adopt four behaviors over the next 30 days.)
Rinse and repeat:
Debrief the process at the end of 30 days. Choose a different item from your original list and repeat the process. Perhaps, “Decisive team.”
How might teams work on the way they work?
How might you modify the above process?
This is really good. Thanks for the simple and yet profound ideas!
excellent ideas here. Thanks Dan.
Very good and timely post.
Many of us are navigating new territories amidst these most uncertain times. Stress levels are high and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain focus on both short and long term objectives. As a leader, it is a double challenge because we also have to keep in mind that there is so much going on in our lives outside of work. A principle that I have found to be successful is what I refer to as the four “C’s” – (Culture, Communications, aCCountability)
– culture eats structure for breakfast – measure the culture of your organization
– everyone has a say, not everyone has their way – does your culture promote innovation with open and honest communications?
– are expectations clearly communicated? does your culture and communications promote ownership and a shared vision? How do you as a leader hold yourself accountable if a member of the team does not deliver?
All three are vital to organizational growth.
as for modification of the above process; will it help to ask what is the bottleneck that prevents us from exhibiting the desired behaviour/s ?
Clarification : while these are all behaviors that impact the outcome(effect) can we use outcome measures?
Asking the team about what type of team they want to be, how it should be defined, and what changes to make, are great for gaining commitment to that direction.
You mention pick 4 of these (1/week) over 4 weeks.
What are your thoughts about the limit of how many “types of teams” that a team can become?
is it 4, as per your suggestion, or do you think that over time a team can be many of these?
Those are 21 great selections to begin a discussion with.
I’m not sure on how I feel about the possibility of a limit on how many are possible for a team.
It feels like they a team can be lots of these, I guess my best answer will be from the team trying to do this. How do they feel about how many of these are possible to become.
That is not an answer I’d need in the first 4 weeks of this exercise. I’d save it for after we see what our experience is with the first group of changes.
I played on an industrial league football Team many years ago that went 10-0-0 and won the league championship. All of the words above describe our Team and players exactly! The most important successful Team characteristic/word to me is Trust!
How might teams work on the way they work?
Do a “process check.” At the end of the meeting have each team member evaluate the meeting on a scale of 1-to-5 on factors such as:
• How well people listened
• Participation level
• Decision quality
• How well the agenda was followed
Next, each person announces his or her score on a factor. Then there is a discussion on why people rated it high or low. Next, identify what’s working and what changes are needed to make team meetings more effective.
Sometimes simpler is effective;
Once during a period of territorial chaos, I did an all on board with the entire division, the brainstorming agenda prepublished:
Dreamers came with better, Doers with faster, and precious few with cheaper (that would be left to me, I suppose). The (micromanager) owner of the company insisted it would be a waste of time, but I insisted it was necessary for the sorting to happen, everyone hears the same things at the same time, and for a new culture to find it’s essentials/foundations. He acquiesced grudgingly.
One woman (staff, an accountant type more than dream or do) stood out by tying the most practical of what she’d heard into insights where all three could happen. On the spot, in real time. Before I could.
With refinement in details, the essence of her insights cut 25 percent out of our project schedules, doubled our average ROI on individual fees, and noticeably improved our quality, especially in aesthetics, but also errors and ommisions. (Over the next two fiscal years).
She took my position when I moved on. They say you can’t have all three, but we demonstrated otherwise.
Adopt four behaviors over the next 30 days. This is a great idea. It takes time to change behavior/culture…but working at small bites will make this happen!
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Hey guys…this is Great. Inspiring indeed. I love it
This makes a ton of sense. I’m going to try it and frame it as a ‘reset.’ My team has worked overly hard in the past 90 days to get through some integrations, large projects and budget planning for ’21. I like this idea, as it parallels setting boundaries, roles and expectations at the beginning of a project. Given the fact that I focus on having a diverse group of Managers on my team to ensure we’re getting vast perspectives, it can be challenging to manage the various types of personalities, beliefs, etc. Having a clear and candid discussion in a ‘safe’ team environment usually lends itself to preventing disagreements in a future state. I’m going to run with this exercise this week as I lay-out the priorities for the remainder of the year. I’ll check-back with results!