Teams are the machines that run your organization. Decades ago we began moving away from creating the hero or command and control leader to developing organizations of teams with distributed knowledge, authority, decision-making power and accountability.
Despite this shift, an extra-ordinary investment IS still made globally in leadership development while the basics of what defines team effectiveness and how to develop a high performing team are nascent. The understandable focus on right people right seat (RPRS), hiring for culture, and developing leaders obscures and misdirects attention from the reality of the impact of teams on organizational culture, leader success, and ultimately business results. We help you create happy, trusting, get-it-done teams.
Team Performance Evaluation
Like the markers of human health, there are accessible universally accepted measures of team effectiveness. And as with our personal health, we have easy to access diagnostics which measure the conditions that are proven to be instrumental in achieving optimum team performance. Metaphorically speaking this is a check-up for your team AND yet so much more.
When do you need to evaluate a team's performance?
1. Setup Of A New Team
When designing/launching or redesigning/relaunching a new team
2. Preventative Check Up
Evaluating the team’s performance reveals untapped strengths and undercurrents to leverage and redirect to prevent the team’s performance from falling to the “Fix Up” level.
Consider a Preventative Check Up when these occur:
- Team membership dynamic is unknown
- Team purpose unclear or evolving
- New stakeholders or changes in stakeholder needs
- Change in the manner that the work will be performed
- Reduced or unknown changes to available information, resources, training or team rewards
- Offer worker flexibility in terms of when and from where people work
Common scenarios: M&A, change in reporting responsibility, job restructuring, new/revised business model, new/revised use of technology
3. Level Up
The Ever evolving nature of work and the competitive environment require teams to continuously improve. Today’s top performing team can quickly slip into an underperforming team tomorrow. Intention and commitment to long term growth and sustainability are necessary
Teams frequently need to up their game to:
- Situate the team to keep pace when change is on the horizon
- Redesign the team into a (more) self-managing structure
- Free up a leader/manager’s time
- Satisfy new stakeholders or changes in stakeholder needs
4. Fix Up
In this scenario a team is underperforming and needs a significant intervention and course correction.
Teams in need of a Fix Up experience:
- Dissatisfied stakeholders (recipients of the team’s work) in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness of team’s work
- High team member turnover
- Lack of healthy conflict, insufficient quantity and/or poor problem solving and decision-making quality, lack of trust, open negative conflict
- Too much of manager’s/leader’s time spent managing, fixing or solving work product or other team issues
Happy, trusting, get-it-done teams are effective when they build a shared capacity, satisfy their stakeholders, and are individually enriched as a result of working together.
We work with your team to establish the foundational conditions for team effectiveness and coach the team to greatness.
Our team development model is an end to end process of:
We engage with the team, its leaders, and sponsor (if applicable) to discuss our process and methods. We also identify the stakeholder groups whom the team serves. These actions enable the team and its leader/sponsor to fully understand the needs of the environment in which the team exists. In this phase we address the needs, hopes, and aspirations of the team and its leader/sponsor and surface concerns or questions from the team, its leader/sponsor or stakeholders that could hinder full engagement and commitment to the process.
We help the team uncover and understand the gap between its current state and desired future state – in terms of effectiveness, how it works together, and how the shape and structure of the team may be contributing to the gap. We have a broad array of approaches, depending on the situation.
- One-to-one interviews with team members and key stakeholders
- The Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) the most in-depth tool of its kind which measures team effectiveness, strength and weaknesses in the team’s ways of working , and in the team’s foundational structure and environment
- Psychometric profiling to reveal an individual’s values, every day strengths, and “dark sides” and how these aggregate at a team level and impact team outcomes
- Team sessions to address key themes, tackle critical issues, design and commit to shared decisions, and share our observations of the team in action
We help the team process, evaluate and align on key actions that will close the gap in the team’s effectiveness and set the team on a trajectory for sustained greatness.
Frequently teams need additional support to achieve their desired state. We often serve the team in varying degree by:
- Facilitating sessions where the team tackles key issues
- Delivering individual or team coaching
- Upskilling the team in the five skills of teamwork
- Partnering as the team’s accountability coach
- Supporting the team leader through expanding their team coaching skills
We work with the team and its leader/sponsor and stakeholders to review the team’s progress. This often means re-running the various ‘diagnostics’ used in the ‘assess’ phase, and evaluating if or how the needs of the team or its leader/sponsor or stakeholders have changed and are impacting the team’s effectiveness in new or different ways.
Team Issue Facilitation
Teams often disagree over methods and direction for the team. We work with your team to dig deep and create purpose, process, norms, trust and abilities to collaboratively solve problems.
Our purpose-oriented design approach focuses on creating and delivering a facilitated experience that meets the team’s unique needs around people, process, and pace.
We do this by:
- Providing an open and psychologically safe environment
- Ensuring all voices in the room are heard
- Modeling the eight behaviors for smarter teams
VPG offers a unique hybrid service of train/coach/facilitate. In this scenario the team together undergoes a skills-based training. Shortly after VPG leads the team through a facilitated session where the team works real-time to apply the skill to an issue and a VPG consultant simultaneously coaches the team’s capability in the particular skill.
Team training creates a shared experience of targeted team skill development and collective team commitment to action. Team training is designed and delivered in a way that meets the team’s real world, real time needs whether they are overcoming critical skill deficits, establishing baseline skills, or leveling up satisfactory skills to deliver more, better, and faster as a cohesive team.
The focal point of our team training are the documented skills of Teamwork which are communication, collaborative problem solving and decision making, managing conflict, and accountability in planning and coordination and goal setting and performance management.
VPG offers a unique hybrid service of train, coach, and facilitate. In this scenario the team together undergoes a skill training. Shortly after, VPG leads the team through a facilitated session where the team works real time to apply the skill to an issue and VPG coaches the team in application of the skill.
Teams are the engines that run organizations and conflict management is one of the five defined skills of teamwork. Unre-solved conflict in teams wastes time, lowers motivation and increases turnover. In the U.S. 75% of employees have gone out of their way to avoid a team member with whom they had a conflict. Well managed team conflicts enhance trust, improve deci-sion making, and foster greater personal and team accountability. Conflict resolution typically falls to a leader to manage, yet team member’s confidence in a manager’s ability to handle conflict falls short. In surveys 43% of non-managers report that their managers don’t do enough to manage conflict, while only 23% of managers agree with this view.
Team mediation requires advanced skills in both mediation and facilitation. Team mediation is more complex due to factors such as the number of conflictees involved, the destructive actions and behaviors exhibited in conflict, the duration of the conflict , failed conflict interventions, and the conflict-derived impact to the team/organization/business.
We meet teams where they are. Our certified, neutral mediators utilize a proven methodology that fosters a supportive envi-ronment. Here teams in conflict are better able to address the drivers of conflict, express needs and wants, generate ideas and solutions, and arrive at mutually beneficials decisions where “all-gain”. This co-creation culminates with the team outlining an agreement that includes their shared and aligned desired outcomes, identified actions, responsible parties, timelines and duration.