THURSDAY THOUGHTS! - Is it time for an intervention with your team?

Posted by | January 23, 2014 | Thursday Thoughts | No Comments

Teamwork-quotes-1A Training and Development Society survey received responses from 230 HRD executives about the results of teamwork. The survey found that as a result of introducing team working:

  • Productivity improved in 77% of organisations
  • Quality improvements due to teamwork were reported in 72%
  • Waste was reduced in 55%
  • Job satisfaction improved in 65%
  • Customer satisfaction improved in 55%

Tom Peters, in one of my favourite books, “Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution” said:

“I observe the power of the team is so great that it is often wise to violate common sense and force a team structure on almost anything.”

However, if we look at the reverse side of the research findings quoted:

  • 23% of organisations saw no increase in productivity
  • 28% did not enjoy quality improvements
  • 45% did not reduce waste
  • 35% did not experience improved job satisfaction
  • 45% saw no increase in customer satisfaction
The more that teams remain immature groups, the less the benefit 
derived from a team approach.

So what are they NOT doing which the others are?  What this says to me is that simply putting groups of individuals together does not guarantee that they will work as a team, it is merely the start of something!  Meredith Belbin, the great master of analysing the elements necessary for great teams, said:

“A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them.”

The process of moving from a group to a team can be complicated and takes time. Many a naive Director has thought that throwing a bit of the budget at an away-day once or twice a year will do it.  IT WON’T!  It takes a great deal more effort than that, and much activity between away-days to build a “team”.

The “more effort” I refer to above are called “interventions” and these are deliberate specialist activities or processes which introduce change into peoples’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The overall objective of an intervention is to identify, illustrate and then treat progress-destructive behaviour.  It does this by analysing how that behaviour affects individuals, groups, issues and progress and co-produces ways to overcome it. Monitor and measure these interventional activities and you will see what is currently happening (reality check), then be part of creating your own imaginative ways to change or eliminate those weaknesses.

And guess what?  Aresko specialises in these interventions :-)  Contact us for a discussion about how you want to go about strengthening your team in 2014.

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Sharon Davidson
Organisational development professional specialising in personal, team and whole organisation improvement. Full range of OD tools and techniques available including: Belbin team role analysis; learning style inventories; 360 degree feedback; cultural assessments; personality psychometrics; strategic planning and workshop facilitation. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Improvement is everyone's concern: +44 1550 720902 will start that process today.

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