Getting Started in Developing a New Team

how to get the best out of your people

Are you developing a new team?  You’re not alone.

One of the key challenges faced by most organisations is the ever-increasing pace of change and the need to continually develop to adapt and respond.  So, many organisations are adapting the way they’re structured in line with their new goals and objectives.

New organisation structures involve new roles, new reporting lines and new teams.  So how do you, as a manager, get started in developing a new team.

The first stage of developing a new team is to build a solid platform for working effectively together.  The team members will usually have different expectations and assumptions about what is going to happen.

In this first step it’s important to find out:

Developing a New Team

1.  What does each person want in terms of direction, communication, involvement etc? 

It is worth having individual conversations with each team member before bringing everyone together to exchange views and share ideas.

2.  What difference does the team want to make to the organisation? 

The organisation has put the team together to achieve a purpose.  It’s important the team has a shared view of what that purpose is i.e. why it has been formed and what the management expects it accomplish.

3.  What would result from the team being successful? 

When new teams are put together because of a restructure, the new team often doesn’t question why it is being asked to fulfil the purpose it is designed for.  Encourage team members to discuss and share the benefits that its success would lead to.

Such a discussion serves many purposes:

  • By exploring the benefits somebody may become more excited or committed to taking action

  • You find out what is important to the team members, which may be useful information as the team develops

  • If there is little understanding or appreciation of the benefits it’s worth finding out early on.  That will allow you to explain the rationale behind why the team exists and to fill in any gaps in team members’ understanding or knowledge.

When building the platform for developing a new team it’s important to describe the change wanted in positive terms.  In other words, describe the positive changes the team members want to create rather than describing all the negatives about the current situation.

You will have established a solid platform for developing a new team when you are clear the team members have a shared view of the difference they want to make and will take the necessary action to make it happen.

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