Bring your team to the next level

Todays blog post is about improving a team. Or specifically on how can one improve their team. I’ve created this little idea of a workshop together with a friend and good colleague @MMinigshofer

What is a team?

The definition of a Team on wikipedia is the following:

“A team comprises a group of people … linked in a common purpose. Human teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.”

But more than that a team consists of people.
And to be successful as a group sooner or later people learn that a group can only be as strong as its weakest member.

Therefore to improve a team the members first need to know one another.

Step 1: Learn more about your teammates

Game number 1 is about learning how your team members “tick”.

The game that you can play to do this is called Moving Motivators. It has been invented by Jurgen Appelo and he kindly made it available for free download.
So what is it all about? You can read it in detail in Jurgen’s blog but in short it will reveal to your team members what motivates you as an individual.
By just doing step 1 of moving motivators and laying down the 10 cards in priority order and explaining to the rest of the team why and what the things are that motivate you the team will gain a much deeper understanding about each other.
Read more and in detail about it in Jurgen’s newest Book: Management 3.0 Workout
I’d suggest to use this game as a warm-up before coming to the real challenge.

Step 2: Finding the weak spots of your team

Everyone wishes to have a team that can do more together as if everyone would be working alone.
This is why in the second game we’ll have a look at the team itself.

The Whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts

So how do we find out?
In his books The five dysfunctions of a team and Overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team Patrick Lencioni describes the basic principles and values behind teams.

And in the workbook he delivers 15 questions that you can go through with a team and answer them with the value per question that you can see in the picture to the right.

Now answering all the questions will yield to something like this:
On the right you see the individual answers summed up for the whole team.

For each answer the sum or average per question can be calculated for later.

With the table to the right all answers of each question can be collected together and combined.

What we want to get is an understanding of how the team is doing in each of 5 levels.
So for Level 1 we count together the sum of all points for questions 4, 6 and 12 and then divide it through the number of team members (in our example 5 people)

This leaves us with a number somewhere between 3 and 9.
Read on to find out what the numbers mean and how we can make sense out of that.

Step 3: Improving the Team

The values that we just collected and calculated are just numbers for the moment.
But we are now able to make sense out of it.
Lencioni gives this guidance:
A score of 8 or 9 indicates that the dysfunction is probably not a problem for your team.
A score of 6 or 7 indicates that the dysfunction could be a problem.
A score of 3 to 5 indicates that the dysfunction needs to be addressed.
The five dysfunctions if you wonder are in priority order:
  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results
Depending on the points gathered through the questions one should work on the lowest scoring level but beginning with level 1 up until level 5.
Where there is not trust all problems with commitment, accountability and inattention to results cannot be solved.
Try it out with your team, it will give you new insights and might help you to improve.
If it did, let me know how it worked out and leave a comment.
Thx for reading,
Sven Schnee aka MrSnow76

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *