Clarity - of purpose, direction, priorities, roles and accountabilities.
Spaciousness - to think and listen, to breath and sense, for dialogue and generative conversation, to be with what is, to navigate within complexity.
Courage - of commitment and accountability, the ‘secret sauce’ of intentionality and practice, to step outside of places and patterns that no longer serve.
Working with teams and groups is about you seeing and working on yourselves, through what matters most right now, developing these (and other) attributes - bringing the work into the development and the development into the work.
The work is about becoming collectively more conscious and intentional, and consciously and intentionally more collective.
I have a preference for dialogic over diagnostic discovery, each team and context is unique, so measuring one against a semi-arbitrary scale of others is of limited value.
Bringing thinking and being to the fore in addition to doing is critical. Our world and our upbringing, our measures, tend to be so much about doing, yet growth and development, working with today’s challenges, these really require us to build our muscles of thinking and being.
- What is there from the past that needs to be given a place before you can move forward?
- What is up with the present that’s no longer appropriate for the future that you see ahead?
- What is your part or contribution to the situation you see before you?
- Getting a ‘measure’ of the sense or degree of the interdependence required and of the collaboration being experienced?
- What do you imagine the leader/sponsor wants more or less of that’s different from the team/group to improve effectiveness?
- What do you imagine the whole team/group wants more or less of from the leader/sponsor that’s different to improve effectiveness?
- The leader/sponsor aside, what do you personally wish for more or less of, or that’s different, from the team/group to improve its effectiveness?
Common 'ways in' for improving effectiveness:
- Why does this team/group exist and what for?
- Who do we serve?
- How will we be successful?
- How do we behave?
- Who does what?
- What’s most important right now?
- How will we know that we are being successful?
When I ask these clients what they hope to be different as a result of our work together I find many recurring contexts:
- Wanting to refresh or repurpose, to reconnect with why and what matters.
- A desire or imperative to scale leadership and overall organisational capacity.
- Sensing that getting better at the 'soft stuff' will result in better delivery of the 'hard stuff'.
- A need to build greater organisational and stakeholder understanding, engagement and contribution.
- Being at a strategic inflection point of choice, opportunity or challenge.
- Addressing dysfunction and inability to have productive courageous conversations.
- Navigating complexity; moving from predict-and-plan to sense-and-respond.
- Building systemic intelligence and promoting systemic health.
- Leading and working in near constant change and unpredictability.
- Understanding and working with transformation.
For example Collaborative teams tend to have a single purpose and outcome, and there is a need for high mutual interdependency for effectiveness and success. Whereas Co-operative groups tend to have a commonality of purpose or interest, but there are as many different outcomes of success as there are members, and the need for interdependency may be more fluid. Getting clear about what form you are matters, knowing that it’s a fit for what lies ahead matters more.