During the height of the pandemic, I blogged about how my team pivoted during the crisis. We’re still building on those lessons and working virtually, but as we start a new round of team development, I’m wondering how can the way we organise ourselves as a team reflect the organisation’s value, while prefiguring where the organisation wants to go?
1. Building team development
How do you connect your personal objectives with those of the team, the organisation and those of our communities so there’s a thread between the actions we do and the dreams our citizens what to create?
We’ve had several workshops where we reflected what we should stop, continue, or do differently based on both what we did before the pandemic and during…and activities that we haven’t done and that we should start doing. We then classified that based on a matrix based on level or urgency versus who’s best placed to take it forward.
There were several tasks we could just get on and do, some of those for each of us to act on like bringing resident’s voices in everything we do or better understand what it means to be anti-racist or each of blocking out half a day a week for no meetings to enable time to think. There were other things we should just get on with but needed to be done collectively, like creating ways to pair up more on projects, improve how we use our 121s and personal development or host learning sessions or show & tells.
Then there were activities that needed more time to develop further like resourcing our personal development (like how to use the apprenticeship levy), identifying how we can meet physically in a distanced way, reviewing how our associate model has worked and how we could improve it, or how we work with senior leaders to shape new priorities across the organisation.
While we still have team workshops on how we can improve, we now track progress on these actions and different people in the team lead on different areas of team development.
2. Renewing your team’s purpose
To understand what is your team’s purpose and what are its values & principles, I’ve got people to think about
- How do they anticipate, cope with and influence change?
- How do they support & develop each other?
- How do they hold each other to account?
- How do they prioritise their work?
- What challenges & opportunities do they see in the future?
I’ve used methods that just don’t ask people questions in a traditional way, but use other senses, getting people to do:
- Writing diaries to reflect on the questions above throughout a week to observe changes and spot patterns
- Empathy walks to discover the communities they serve and explore how they connect to them
- Coaching circles to support each other through developing themselves and tackling personal challenges
- Reviewing value propositions or business models of other organisations & networks to see how we could adapt our offer
As I approach a new round of team development, I’m keen to explore what methods others have used