Team development

Our work with teams tends to fall mainly into two categories: structured team development programmes and bespoke ‘team identity’ days. Very often, a structured programme will begin with a ‘team identity’ day anyway.

A structured team development programme

If all the participants in the programme are themselves managers, then a structured team development programme may well look quite similar to the sample management development programme described here. Depending on the level of emotional maturity within the team, a 360° review may or may not be appropriate, and the list of module topics could well be different but otherwise we find that the overall structured management development programme approach works well.

If, however, you have a mixed group of managers and front-line staff within the team then we need to have a completely different conversation. Having managers and their direct reports on the same programme can be problematic and needs careful handling. Very often, it’s simply a bad idea – especially where the team does not have a perfect working relationship with its manager and/or where communication is not as open as it should be. In such situations, we need to manage the training needs analysis phase very sensitively.

A bespoke ‘team identity’ day

All too often, teams fail to perform as well as they should because they lack a common sense of purpose. Our ‘team identity’ day addresses this. It helps the team members explore in what ways the team is performing well, in what ways not so well. It helps them take a more objective look at their performance, their competitors (and we explain how our all teams have competitors) and external perceptions of the team (whether from within or outside the organisation). Often, the programme introduces the concept of ‘added value’; always, it makes the team ask ‘why does our team exist?’, ‘who are we and what do we do?’ and ‘what is our vision for success?’. Key outputs from the day include draft or revised vision and mission statements, as well as action plans and a clear shared sense of future direction.

See a sample outline of a team identity day here.

After a ‘team identity’ day, we always have a review session with the manager and other stakeholders, to discuss the best way forward for the team. Sometimes a need is identified for follow-up topic-led workshops (eg, communication skills, honest conversations, meetings, etc) but more usually the follow-up is internal, which is entirely as it should be: if we haven’t made ourselves redundant, we haven’t done our job properly!

Team development case studies’ day

See how we’ve helped teams in a variety of organisations, both public and private sector:

  • A team-focused management development programme for Central Bedfordshire Council
  • A team identity day for Moet Hennessy

If you have a team that is not performing to its full potential, it’s a waste of their time and your money. Give us a call on
01582 714280 to discuss how we can help you fix the problem.