There are lots of different models for creating a high performing culture with teams, and there are a never-ending supply of interactions and activities to put the culture to the test. I’ve both delivered and been a participant in sessions that have had many different approaches and strategies – and one size certainly doesn’t fit all. I've witnessed the good, the bad AND the ugly!
For me, it really boils down to three methods of exploring what creates high performance in a team. Here you have the opportunity to:
accept the norm and celebrate a team already at high performance disrupt the teams thinking and challenge their reality deconstruct the team to breaking point and then build the foundations up again.
There are some fundamental values that run through all of them and some that should be avoided at all costs. I’m personally not a fan of the complete deconstruction of a team as unless it is done skillfully, it really can prove to be fatal to the ultimate desired outcome.
My preference? Disrupt. Disrupt. Disrupt.
In my role as Chief Disruptor, I have a number of key outcomes in mind.
A valuable team session will always:
Challenge the way the team views themselves and each other disrupt their thinking, and challenge their norms gain a much deeper understanding of who team members are build a culture where the team shares their experiences and understands what makes each other tick, exploring what has shaped each of your colleagues work towards an agreed common set of objectives for the team’s performance.
That last point is key. If you complete a team session without having some clear business objectives in mind then you won't achieve a step change in the team’s performance. Why invest time in working on performance and not have a set of measures to see how successful you have been?
The psychology of teams plays a part here too. If you have access to psychological profiling (Insights Discovery, DISC, MBTI are some examples here – and you all know my preference is Insights Discovery!) then use it. It gives you a different layer of team dynamics to explore and really enables you to gain a greater awareness of self and of those team colleagues around you.
Richard Branson often speaks about disrupting the way people do business or disrupting the market place you operate in, and the same principles apply to your team.
Challenge the norm, challenge the traditional team and really work out what makes people tick. Create an on-going conversation for the team that focuses on what’s important to them and how that will enable the team to achieve the overall objectives.