Geting your team to continue to perform
One of my recent posts I discussed what makes a successful change team..
so, you’ve formed a team and you know they will go through the stages of chaotic, formal to mature but how can you get them there and ensure they continue to perform at a stellar level?
To move from the chaotic stage to the mature stage, the team must build on its experiences. It is commonly believed that you learn from experience. Actually, you gain understanding from reviewing and thinking about your experiences. You can then draw appropriate conclusions and plan to modify your behaviour in the future.
You learn by doing and understand by reviewing
The Learning Cycle
There is a procedure for conducting a team review. It is a skill that should be learned and practiced.
Start by analysing your team results
• did you achieve the task?
• what aspects of the task did you do well?
• what aspects of the task did you not complete satisfactorily?
• did individual roles, contributions, activities and attitudes benefit the team?
REMEMBER, your analysis should be factual and honest.
Analyse why you performed the way you did
You need to shift the focus of the review from ‘ what happened’ to ‘WHY it happened!’ Your analysis should cover both task and process related aspects – how your team approached the task; how you as team members worked together.
Having focused on the causes you can now identify what strengths you can maintain and develop and what weaknesses you need to overcome
Again, this should include both process and task related aspects of your performance.
It is important at this stage that you adopt the ‘Pareto Principle’. Try to concentrate on the ‘significant few’ factors or weaknesses – the ones that are causing you the most problems. Once you have eliminated these, you can then move on to the lesser concerns.
REMEMBER, do not try to change everything immediately. Instead, use the Continuous Improvement principle of aiming for steady, continuous progress rather than risky wholesale change.
Plan for improved performance in the future
Try not to forget, a good review is just as concerned with the future as it is with the past.
You are not carrying out a review as a ‘post-mortem’, you are attempting to understand what you have done in the past so that you can improve in the future.
Having carried out your review you can develop a plan which:
• maintains and builds on the strengths of the team
• overcomes the weaknesses identified
Most importantly, your plan for improvement should be:
• understood by everyone
• able to identify who will do what
• clearly directed and agreed by all for the next task.
This completes the learning cycle.