Functional Team Training for Better Performance

Effective teams are comprised of the right people, have clarity about their purpose, and collaborate around shared objectives. But what often happens is that urgent issues (i.e., reacting to the customer who shouts the loudest) get in the way of focusing on team effectiveness. Instead of being able to capitalize on each others’ strengths and quickly solve problems, decisions get revisited over and over again and unnecessary conflict and stress arise.

If you are like many other teams, you probably have good people and good products and services but know you aren’t performing at your highest potential. In fact, your team is probably trying to overcome the following challenges that The Team Acceleration Program is designed to address head on.

The three challenges limiting team effectiveness:

  1. The wrong people are in the right positions. On most teams, there isn’t an effective process for bringing the right people on board. Interviews are 30 minutes apart and candidates have 8 in a row; decisions are made based on gut feel instead of an intentional approach; candidates are evaluated based on technical skills alone without regard for cultural fit. When the wrong people are in the right positions, teams struggle with unnecessary conflict, low levels of productivity, and higher turnover. The problem, however, is not just in hiring the right people. The deeper issue is a lack of time and know-how to cultivate the right team.
  2. Lack of focus. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority at all. When priorities are unclear or constantly changing, team members feel like they are sinking instead of swimming, never getting above the surface long enough to see the shore. While the team may “feel” productive at first, being overwhelmed on a consistent basis results in lower team member engagement, a lack of ability to innovate as team members are constantly putting out fires, and an increased risk of losing top talent (don’t worry, you won’t lose everyone. No one wants to hire your poor and average performers). When priorities are always in flux, performance expectations are unclear and companies are forced to work harder to produce the same level of results that competitors produce with fewer people. The problem, however, is deeper than just assigning people the right tasks. It gets to the core of truly aligning a team with the right purpose and around the right strategic objectives.
  3. Differences become obstacles. When the wrong people are in the right positions and when priorities are unclear, communication breaks down. These breakdowns result in barriers between team members and other departments. The lack of trust is obvious as people hoard resources, hide information for their personal benefit, and protect their own turf. Instead of appreciating and utilizing the unique strengths that people bring to the team, differences are criticized. Team members avoid spending time together so that they can do “real work” and meetings are filled with status and project updates instead of solving problems together. The challenge, however, is deeper than just getting along with each other. It’s about understanding that efficiency is directly correlated with cohesiveness, and cohesiveness can only be built with the right structure and support.

Ultimately all of these challenges lead to lower levels of effectiveness – team members take longer to solve problems, they take longer to get committed to decisions, their focus is on their individual performance/agenda instead of team results, and management has to spend more time “motivating” them.

What teams really want:

People want to be on teams that win. They want to work in an environment where their contributions matter; they want to solve challenging problems collaboratively; they want to have professional and respectful workplace relationships; In other words team members want:

  • Alignment around a clear purpose and objectives. They want to know what is expected of them at an individual and team level and they want a feedback loop so that they can make corrections along the way. They want clarity about how the team functions together and want to make the best use of their time.
  • A focus on collaboration. Strong team members know that cohesion trumps time management any day of the week. They want to work on a team where the culture is founded on trust and respect, and transparent communication replaces silos and breakdowns. Team members want to speak up in a meaningful way and engage in critical thinking.
  • Engagement at an individual level. Team members want to be recognized for their contributions and appreciated for their efforts. And when they are, the organization is rewarded with unprecedented levels of commitment. And that’s good for everyone – the individual, the team, and the organization.
  • A focus on growth and continual cultivation. Team members want to know there is a path and future for them. They want the opportunity to grow and develop, and to learn the right tools for crucial conversations.

These objectives are not only obtainable but can be achieved with a focused structure and approach.

The solution?

The Team Acceleration Program

This unique team building program accelerates team development, resulting in focus, faster decisions, team member trust and commitment, and the ability to capitalize on new opportunities. Ultimately, this is about creating a sustainable competitive edge.

The Team Acceleration Program cuts out the fluff and meaningless games contained in many team building programs and focuses on the important things that makes teams great. Other benefits include:

  • Enabling the team facilitator – the leader of the team – to focus on more strategic objectives as team members work more effectively together.
  • Building a team culture that attracts the best people and helps the organization become an “employer of choice.”
  • Helping new teams go from storming to performing…faster – so that ultimately they can be more productive.
  • Creating an operating environment that enables team members to understand each others’ differences and tap into each others’ strengths.
  • A more nimble team with the agility to respond to change more effectively.
  • Blending new and existing team members faster, improving problem solving and decision making capabilities.
  • Turning destructive conflict into constructive debate, building commitment to decisions.
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities, enabling the team to shift resources and people where they are most needed.
  • Aligning personal aspirations with organizational goals to break down the silos that often creep up unexpectedly.
  • Developing a team communication strategy to utilize team time more effectively.
  • Making a significant improvement in how the team uses its time together, shifting from sharing information to solving real problems.
  • Bringing the fun back into the daily routine of work.

What you and your team receive with The Team Acceleration Program

The Team Acceleration Program is our highest-end team development program offered for new teams and intact teams.

Prior to the program we clearly identify measures of success. Everything we do relates back to a business objective. Measures of success are reviewed periodically throughout the program to assess progress.

Most programs begin with a 1-2 day offsite team building experience. In preparation for the offsite team members will complete field work which includes professional reading and personality style profiling. The first part of the offsite focuses on building trust and cohesion and overcoming the fear of conflict. The second part of the initial offsite establishes clarity around team purpose, roles and responsibilities, goals, and norms. Light-hearted time at night is used to get to know each other at a personal level.

Structured and time sensitive follow-up creates accountability and ensures the team progresses toward its desired state.

  • Follow-up group session are conducted at structured intervals after the initial offsite. They range from 2 hours to 1 day in duration, depending on the team’s progress and needs. The group sessions support and reinforce change and provide content and tools to address specific team needs.
  • Targeted coaching sessions occur between group sessions to help individuals learn more about themselves and learn how they can be more effective with other team members. Coaching combined with group sessions can increase skill retention by 80% over group sessions alone.
  • Consulting based on behaviors observed during team and staff meetings.
  • Short, targeted group webinars are slotted between workshops and coaching sessions focused on reviewing and modifying team norms and agreements.
  • Individual reflection field work.
  • Team projects designed to add value to the team and organization.
  • Integration of other profiles and assessments to support team development.

In addition, we offer the following bonuses to help team members build point skills:

  • Access to 5.12 Solutions library of live recorded audio programs on various personal and professional topics
  • Online course work
  • Workplace Interaction Maps used to help team members modify how they communicate and collaborate with others

Is the Team Acceleration Program a good fit for you and your team?

The Team Development Program has been run with medium-sized and large organizations from a variety of industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, consumer products, city government and federal government agencies.

But, this program is not for every team. It’s only for teams who want to make a significant shift in how they work together. Typically, participants in this program fit the following criteria:

  • They are willing to invest the time to make their team a priority, because they understand the value to the business.
  • The team leader is open to learning and becoming more self-aware.
  • Your organization is a mid-to-large sized organization that has budget to invest in making people more effective.
  • The team is disciplined and good at getting things done (i.e. group sessions are scheduled well in advance – what gets scheduled gets done).
  • You have the ability to become a great team. Despite your success, you have built your team through a random process, but you now know you need a more structured approach to reaching the next level.

The Team Acceleration Program can also be tailored to address specific organizational challenges, such as:

  • Start-up companies that recently acquired VC funding and are looking to accelerate the team’s ability to get their product/service to market.
  • New teams that are forming due to a merger or acquisition.
  • Project teams that are coming together and want to ensure on-time/on-budget delivery.
  • Teams that are anticipating a major change or transition.
  • Sales teams that are looking to collaboratively drive revenues.

If you have made it this far, you might be interested in taking the next step.

If so, we invite you to connect with us to schedule a complimentary Team Development Insight Session where we’ll explore your business challenges, current team dynamics, results you’d like to achieve on your team, and determine if The Team Acceleration Program is a fit for you.

The conversation will take about 30 minutes and can be done in person or by phone. Simply complete the form below to schedule your session.

Schedule Team Development Insight Session Here

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