Lean Consulting and Training


Team Building

Team building is one of the most important undertakings of businesses today. We have all seen successes and failures of teams and the resulting consequences. Consider an American Icon, college football. Why are some schools able to retain their superiority year after year while others struggle? The answer is in part “Team Work”. When one member of the team has a bad day or series of unfortunate events, other team members pick up the slack and press on for success. At least this is the results for a true team. On the other hand, when true team spirit is not established often a failure of one member sends the team into disarray. The conundrum is, how I get my people to place their own present needs second to the needs of the team.

There are a number of team building exercises we can provide for your organization. Common sense tells us “two heads are better than one” so utilize the full potential of your associates through team work. Team building is a delicate process requiring the cooperation of all involved. However, the rewards far outweigh the struggle.

Team Dysfunctions

One of the most well-written publications on the inner workings of teams is The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team1. It outlines the most common shortcomings of teams and how to address these issues. These dysfunctions include the following.

  • Absence of trust
  • Fear of conflict
  • Lack of commitment
  • Avoidance of accountability
  • Inattention to results

It is important to note that these dysfunctions are not rare. Even the best teams deviate toward these dysfunctions. As part of our team training we put team members in a position where they must not only establish an understanding of these issues but challenge them to work through these dysfunctions as well.

Again this is only part of our team building training program. We also address the following:

  • Team Roles: A comprehensive look at individual roles within teams

  • Team Behaviors: Functional and dysfunctional behaviors

  • Meeting Management: Effective meeting design and evaluation

  • Action Planning: Includes setting realistic yet challenging objectives, delegation, reaching those objectives, project management, and evaluation.

  • Stages of teams: By raising awareness of the different stages of team development are better prepared to successfully work through each stage

One additional note on accountability...The following quote will sound familiar for many organizations:

"This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have."

(Excerpt from Donnelly Kaizen Event Guide)

As humorous as this quote is, sadly it is a hard reality for many organizations. Well-planned team building exercises can make a huge difference in both relationships and "getting things done".

We offer both in-house training and offsite team building retreats. For more information feel free to contact us.

You can read more about team building at the following links: Team Building p1 and Offsite Retreats

1Lencioni, P., (2002), The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass Publishing

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