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Four Stages of Team Growth

Adversity teaches us how to cope. Occasionally, we come up from an underground subway platform to street level and momentarily lose our bearings. Where am I? Which way is north? In that fleeting moment where nothing looks familiar, we are lost. The fear center of our brain gets activated as we fend off panic and search for direction. Of course, no one stays lost forever. Eventually, learning occurs. Consider what might happen if we got lost on purpose. A good crisis provides many lessons. Let’s look at how growth unfolds.

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Innovation Strategy: Segregate or Integrate?

The most impactful innovations are rarely just the good ideas arising from workplace cultures that support creativity. They are the outcomes of diversity and collaboration that begin with a problem and end with a solution that improves the world. As simple as the recipe might be, it’s difficult to assemble and sustain a team of people who are capable of unselfish, integrative thinking. Why, for instance, would a group of world renowned physicians invite a team of engineers and designers to a strategy session? Even though the physician has never designed a device and the engineer has never performed a surgery, the integration of their talents might create a breakthrough in disease management. How might this apply to your industry?

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The 10 Landmines that Disable Team Communication

It’s usually the topic we’re not discussing that wields the most power in the room. Subtle and often hidden from view, insidious obstacles make collaboration difficult. These landmines are both sins of omission and sins of commission. Usually, we know they are causing or perpetuating struggle but we’re not willing to risk the consequences of unveiling them for open communication. So, we make them normal in our culture. Consider these ten landmines and perform a quick assessment of your own team.

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Mastering Transitions

As much a sameness brings comfort, the constant nature of change forces us to become experts at managing transitions. Changing jobs. Changing seasons. Changing teammates. Changing leadership. Changing health. Changing direction. Changing priorities. Regardless of what event defines the transition, adapting has two vital components: mourning loss and refocusing on new circumstances. Name the pain and then work the problem. Consider these case examples:

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Rebuilding Team Culture

Eventually, there is a tipping point. Once an organization decides to address team culture, a tremendous amount of effort is exerted before employees can discern the difference. The shift from current state to desired state is filled with both pain and hope. It happens in stages. Once the process has traction, a lone voice or a single action is enough to propel positive momentum. Let’s take a look at each stage.

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