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Team Cycles

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4 Stages, 3 Questions

Every team is in a state of transition. Some are regrouping following a major change. Others are building a culture of trust and accountability. Still others are using that platform of trust to generate something new. Many teams are anticipating a transition and bracing themselves to cope. Whatever stage your team is managing, there are always three questions to ask.

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Why Teams Get Stuck

Please enjoy this excerpt from The 4 Stages of a Team: How teams thrive… and what to do when they don’t.

The ideal team flows from challenge to challenge, moving over, under, around or through obstacles. Team members understand the purpose of their struggle and keep working on the problem. Because all living things move through predictable cycles, each transition provides an opportunity to get stuck.

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Qualities of the Best Bands

What makes a great band? It’s more than good music that resonates with your feelings. That part is easy. You write and perform songs that use the principles of music theory to generate physical and emotional changes reflecting the mood and message of your audience. Rock, rap, blues, jazz and reggae appeal to certain people at certain times because of the visceral and cognitive response the music generates. But keeping the group that composes and plays the music together requires a much different set of skills.

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A Team of Two

My guitar teacher has been honing his skills as a musician and educator for about 25 years. I have been working on my chops for about 50. It has taken me twice as long to get half as good. Face it, practicing thirty-to-sixty minutes daily will never achieve the results of devoting three-to-six hours each day. Even if I step up to his pace, there aren’t enough years remaining in a human life span to learn to play at his level.

This is why I selected him for my team of two. I will always have new goals that seem nearly out of reach, yet attainable with hard work. This partnership has an unspoken recipe.

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Team Renewal

Beyond quarterly and annual performance goals, December 31st is an artificial renewal. New Year’s resolutions abound and businesses big and small reset strategic direction. Arbitrary markers of progress track movement but rarely refresh the system. Rebirth usually follows significant change. Norms are disrupted and teammates adapt. Other than calendar transitions, consider these drivers of team renewal.

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