Building Achievement Focused Teams – Case Study

Achieving TeamsThe marketing team within a global education and publishing company had established a plan to achieve their strategies and identified key focus areas to ensure their success and value in the business. Limiting them was way they were perceived by the organisation and that the team leadership position had been vacant for nine months until the current manager had come on board three months ago.

Each individual in the team felt they were highly committed but all felt they lacked team cohesion. The team felt they lacked a vision, direction and a sense of team accountability and that this had contributed to members feeling let down by other team members.

They also felt there was lot of ”baggage” and destructive behaviours in the group. The new leader believed that communication in the team was very poor and all these team and interpersonal based problems needed to be resolved in order to achieve team cohesion and deliver the desired business outcomes.

Objectives

Integral Coaching was asked to run a 1 day offsite and implement the required elements of building achievement focused teams and meet their stated business objectives. The clients desired outcomes were:

  • To develop trust within the team, creating an environment of mutual support for the achievement of the strategy
  • Provide a common experience and language upon which to build a constructive and achievement-oriented team culture
  • Provide a strong base for ongoing personal and team development • Provide insight and direction for further team development by management

Process

After an introduction to the purpose of the day and a discussion around desired outcomes the team was given a simulation exercise where a challenge/task needed to be completed. This opened the team to understanding the way they worked together and what group norms had been created from past experiences and interactions.

From this exercise group thinking and behavioural styles were measured. This allowed participants to see how the groups desired outcomes were influenced by their mindsets, behaviours and the way they managed intrapersonal and interpersonal issues with each other in one-on-one and group settings.

This was achieved through an in-depth debriefing which furthered their personal and team learning, encouraged discussion and expression of team issues and roadblocks and started a conversation around setting future direction.

In the next phase of the program these exercises and the learning that transpired from them were linked back to the team strategy. Understanding that how they worked together was equally important to what they were working towards, the team completed their final planning around the key objectives through a facilitated session.

Moving on from the planning phase the group worked through structured exercises with each other to develop interpersonal skills. This was followed by creating an individual development plan for each team member to support their understanding and learning that had occurred throughout the day and to ensure follow through on further learning and the development of clear actionable goals to facilitate the functioning of the team.

Finally, group operating principles were developed to encourage openness and discussion and establish the ground rules for a culture of trust and encouragement.

Outcomes

As result of the program the marketing team recreated their purpose for contributing to the business through the concept “We are the creative force: Driving innovation and influencing others to achieve the highest results.”

Having aligned around the purpose of the group and developed an understanding of the elements needed to perform at the level they desired the group embarked on a process of changing their perception within the business. This was achieved through increasing their networks, educating the business of the value they could add and producing high quality innovative outcomes that were driven through a team focus.

Firstly, they met to agree on role clarity and worked through old issues around what people’s areas of responsibility were. They then decided to host Friday evening drinks to re-establish their presence in the business and start the process of being perceived as a needed, credible and creative force within the organisation.

Following this they created and implemented a strategy to further understand the needs of their internal customers and set clear expectations around goals and way of working together. Having worked through and resolved the issues that consumed some much of their time and energy and having established clear goals and implementation paths the team has been able to deliver some key objectives to the organisation.

In order to maintain their momentum and consolidate their learning the team agreed to meet informally weekly and have a two hour group session once a month where business as usual was put aside to focus on goals and objectives agreed at the offsite (or the previous session) and developed action plans for moving forward.