Building Engaged Teams – Case Study

Engaged teamsA virtual team within a global organisation had been set up to deliver a market sensitive and highly confidential project that centred on technology and products that were new to the global and Australian marketplace. The team comprised 20 people from functions across the business.

Recent leadership changes in the project had resulted in uncertainty around the direction and scope of the project. Although there was a great deal of passion and enthusiasm in the team there was also a sense of frustration, lack of traction, communication issues and project fatigue within the ranks and project time lines were not being met which jeopardised the credibility of the project.

Objective

Integral Coaching was asked to facilitate a 1 day offsite around building engaged teams that was aligned with its business strategy to meet the project objectives.

The clients desired objectives were:

  • The clarification and definition of the Project Purpose
  • The identification and agreement of a set of rules of engagement, team goals and team objectives.
  • The commitment to actionable outcomes and clear ownership of tasks
  • The creation of a pathway to include new members of the team quickly and easily with attention on helping them to understand the spirit of the team.

Process

After a motivational talk from the company CEO around project backing, fatigue and resilience the team was led through an experiential activity to foster team engagement and begin work on a purpose statement.

Then, after the introduction of an Appreciative Inquiry framework the team began a process of critical inquiry around goals, objectives and desired outcomes the purpose of which was to refocus on key issues, understand progress to date and challenges for the future. From this exercise a clear sense of purpose was expressed and objectives and goals were set.

The process then moved to a focus on people’s personal engagement to the project, what they would like to take a stand and be accountable for and developing a strong team spirit to increase the levels of engagement in the business. This required the group to understand and answer some difficult questions around how they could feel connected as a team. How they could bring together a group of people from across the organisation and get to know and trust one each other at the pace the project required? And what they could be held accountable to?

Once this was complete, emphasis was placed on developing and committing to team behaviours and rules of engagement. The team believed that understanding these issues was a crucial component in capturing the spirit of the team before re-engaging in creating the future.

Moving on from engagement and accountability the team was then led through a change management process to define clear actionable outcomes, execution strategies and develop ways to deal with project deviation. This was underpinned by exploring possible project sticking points and understanding how to remain motivated when project fatigue sets in and remain resilient when the normal challenges of a large project seem insurmountable?

To finish the day the team made commitments to the delivery of goals, objectives, team behaviours and rules of engagement and then participated in some fun team building activities to complete the day.

Outcomes

The team agreed to a high level goal to “Bring the project home with an entrepreneurial spirit”.

This goal was underpinned by action points that included developing innovative and viable alliances, communication and engagement with customers, team, organisation and beyond and to bring the project home by Christmas. These action points were supported by the work the team had completed during the day around developing clear definitions of project goals, team behaviours, purpose and rules of engagement. In particular they believed that these goals would be most supported by their stated team behaviours which included being resilient leaders, tenacious executors, passionate shapers, united team members and generous listeners.

Feedback

“If what we’ve agreed to today gets actioned this project will succeed.”

“I felt so tired when I arrived but I feel rejuvenated and re-engaged in the project

I really feel we can nail this!”

“I feel like where on track again and I know where going to make this happen.”

“We’ve managed to find the missing elements to the team and the way we were going about delivering this. It’s going to make all the difference now we are working in this way.”

“Today is the first day I’ve really felt part of this team.”