Increasing the efficiency of the management team.8-people management team
ChallengeA Dutch leasing company approached us asking if we could support their management team with an integrating activity which would also raise their productivity as a team. The main challenge to address was the fact that the team was closed to open feedback as maintaining good and warm relationships was more important for them than clear feedback.
SolutionIn order to find the best solution we started to work with the team by analyzing it and finding its strengths and weaknesses. A few weeks before the workshop participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire based on a pre-established model of 9 factors of an efficient team. Conclusions from the questionnaire helped to create the program of the workshop and the tools to be used. One of the main conclusion defined by the team in the questionnaire was that efficient goal achievement was perceived as the main factor.
Two games were used during the workshop: Webmaster and Simbols. Both addressed the challenge within the theme of cooperation. Webmaster is a very engaging team activity emphasizing challenges related to goals, strategy and planning. In the debriefing we focused on breaking points in the game which demonstrated clearly one given challenge, e.g. choosing one common modus operandi, precise distribution of tasks and raising productivity. Simbols, on the other hand, is an exercise challenging cooperation through communication processes, common decision-making and their consequent implementation. Participants did no manage to complete the activity in the game, which provided additional insight regarding their communication mode. In the debriefing of the game participants discussed thoroughly the reasons of the lack of productivity they sometimes experience.
In the next activity participants worked on the transfer of their experience and conclusions from the game to their real work and tried to attribute them to one of the 9 factors of effective teamwork. They also defined together which of the 9 factors they perceived as most important and which one needed to be strengthened. In the discussion behaviors from the game were often quoted as examples and they were compared to real life activities. As a result they reached many valuable conclusions related to concrete changes and improvements to be introduced in their teamwork.
ResultsAt the end of the workshop participants were ready and well equipped to work on their own on the actions to be undertaken to improve their productivity as a team. They realized that good and warm relationships might obstruct their efficiency and efficacy. They wanted to concentrate on searching for solutions which would gather them around a common goal and raise their efficiency without destroying good relations within the team. One of the solution was open feedback without judgement. At a meeting organized a few weeks after the workshop we learnt that the team had introduced many changes initiated during the workshop and had been actively planning further improvements to raise their productivity as a team.