In the following weeks, I’ll talk about different ways to redirect your team(s) during and after COVID-19.
My new approach ‘R.E.S.E.T.’ aims to increase well-being, strengthen relationships and strategise forward. It will facilitate structure and clear, meaningful agreements for the whole team.
Read more on my LinkedIn.
In March, I developed a practical approach for teams to grow in this new reality. Allow your department(s) to get a head start on the next big change!
It’s as easy as hitting a RESET button:
Reconnect with your colleagues
Explore together what worked well and what didn’t
Strategise about what to stop – start – continue
Engage with your team for remaining questions
Test your action plan and determine next steps
‘Let’s celebrate our success!’, we hear the well-intentioned leader say. Typically, we gather together during an informal lunch after a successful implementation. Other teams go rope climbing far enough from the daily workplace. ‘HURRAY!’ to completing the last milestone of the project. The ‘thank you’ speech awaits at the end of the road (and the Oscar goes to…the wrong protagonists sometimes).
This ritualisation of success can be performed in a much more meaningful way. It can become a frequent interactive practice: think of the agile movement, or logistic teams setting up daily check-ins measuring progress and weighing alternatives.
What about doing intermediary ‘success analyses’ with your colleagues when you progress towards a goal? I’m all for it! You and the team measuring together how you’ve moved upwards on the scale – rather than a one-off celebration with the team (sharing what could’ve gone better). Next time, try this frequent practice instead:
Ask your team the following sequence of scaling questions:
Each team member gives a number between 10 and 1.
Ask the whole team: on a scale from 10 tot 1, 10 being our goal fully achieved and 1 its opposite, where do you think we are now on the scale?
Explore the numbers given by the team.
What are all the things that worked well from 1 to all your figures mentioned? What else contributed to your figure?
Listen to more experiences.
What should we leave unchanged? What were moments we got higher on the scale, even briefly? And: what are all the things that made the difference with your current figure (= ‘the difference that makes the difference’ in Solution Focus)?
Determine next steps.
Building on the previous answers: what could be next steps to go higher on the scale? How can we maintain and even improve our current numbers? …
Do you see where I’m coming from?
For any intermediate progress, you can conduct similar success analyses. Consider them a progress focused version of the ‘lessons learned’ after finishing a project. The accuracy of figures mentioned by team members during the scaling exercise above, is of less relevance; they’re highly subjective after all. Rather, the aim is to find out all that works well and have a fruitful discussion on past, present and future progress. This is just one way to apply Solution Focus inside your organisation.
Just because I’m solution focused doesn’t mean I’m problem phobic.– Insoo Kim Berg
Even when your team is rising from 1 to 2 on the scale, or micro-progressing from 6 to 6,25: you could do a short success analysis with the team, or simply by yourself.
ACTING LIKE A PROGRESS DETECTIVE
Goal achievement is not binary in a complex organisation that operates in constant. The curve of progress evolves similar to the stock market -not as a linear line – but going up and down.
My invitation to you: act as a progress detective and ‘catch’ people doing things better. One of the benefits for you and the team is getting inspiration on a plate for how to move forward towards goal achievement.
And what if things don’t work out? No need to be ‘problem phobic’. Act as a detective here as well: get the facts right and normalise, combined with giving and receiving iterative solution focused feedback. Short feedback loops are a key ingredient for setting up a permanent feedback culture.
Followed by asking the inviting question: ‘what can we do instead?‘
With one intervention you’re often able to move the conversation from problem talk to solution talk.
I can support you during these team talks. My 10+ years experience in working with individual coachees, teams and organisations will be of great help.