Moving Challenges from Insight to Action

Published: November 5, 2019

Every challenge has two elements – naming the source of the pain (crisis) and deciding how you’re going to deal with it (opportunity). The second stage requires the first. Teams must acknowledge what hurts before they can embrace new circumstances. As quickly as you can finish trumpeting how awful a change is, commit to the task of figuring out what to do about it. Here’s a simple roadmap to get you started.

Which one of the following situations currently reflects your team? At some point, your team will face each of these challenges, as they represent the necessary stages of development in the life cycle of any group. The stuck-points come when the discomfort of growth makes adapting difficult. The solution is to diagnose your current state, define what you want your desired state to be and commit to taking the first step (The 4 Stages of a Team, 2019).

Insight is easier than action. Most teammates already know where the pain lies. With some basic assessment, most leaders can determine why the team is struggling or stuck. Assessment metrics simply validate what everyone already knows. If you are brave enough to ask the question, then you must have the courage to take steps to address the answer. Take the first step.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.