what should your project or ad hoc team do to maximize
its performance? Its first meeting is crucial. Plan to
invest just one day, up front, on its "process"
issues. This initial session should be facilitated by
a skilled person who is not a team member. As a guide,
here is what my one-day "kickstart" program
Why was the team created? What goals and deliverables
(e.g., design a process to reduce wastage by 18%) are
expected of it? Ensure that all members understand and
accept these objectives and their related timelines.
To which manager, board or steering committee does the
team report? What support has this champion promised?
What information/updates do they expect from the team?
How will the team liaise with the champion?
Members. What skills, knowledge, and experience do
they bring? Identify and discuss each person's hopes,
desired benefits, expectations, concerns, and initial
degree of commitment to the team. Make it OK not to be
committed at the outset.
Guidelines. Determine how leadership will operate
within the team. Is there one leader? What is his/her
role? How will the team make decisions? How often will
they meet? How will they communicate amongst one another?
What is expected of each member? Can someone miss a meeting?
What happens if someone fails to meet a commitment?
Steps. Now it is time to turn the group to its task.
Here members start developing a plan of action and assigning
responsibilities. The day should end with this underway.
above fills a very productive day. A facilitator will
fast track the team to performance by (1) providing structure
and leadership, (2) training members on group dynamics,
(3) helping them through the start-up energy-draining
issues around power, and (4) ensuring that they stay focused.
A good facilitator will leave the team with tools and
techniques to address interpersonal issues whenever they
obstruct team performance downline.
about your temporary teams? Can they afford a slow acceleration
to maximum performance?
the Author: Ian Cook, trainer, consultant and keynote
speaker and Principal of Fulcrum Associates Inc., is an
expert in assisting managers and supervisors get more
from their people and teams through modern leadership
approaches. Contact him at (888) 385-2786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Fulcrum's web site is www.888fulcrum.com.