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Forming Teams Fast

A QuickStart way of forming diverse, empowered and agile teams to solve complex problems.

6 essential conversations a team should have:

What’s our purpose?

Discuss and agree why the team is needed. What the issue or challenge the team need to address. It’s important that everyone has a common understanding of the problem/challenge, who is feeling the pain of this problem/challenge, and why a team, and more specifically this team, is needed.

What does success look like?

When will this problem/challenge be resolved? How will we know this? Who is feeling the current pain and when will we know that they are happy the problem is solved? What will we as a team have achieved? What are the tangible outcomes?

What do I bring?

Share what you believe you contribute to the purpose of the team. Also, what you are willing to commit to the team and if there are any other commitments you have outside this team the other team members should be aware of.  This level of personal ‘contracting’ is very rarely done in teams.

How do we make decisions?

To value our team's diversity, discuss and agree how differing views and perspectives on things get discussed and how decisions get made. Our approach to decision making may need to vary depending on the context and time available, but we should understand how the differing views play into decisions being made.

How do we share information and insights?

Complex problems rely on multiple layers of insights and therefore require multiple points of view. Discuss and agree how we share what we are seeing, hearing and feeling about the challenge at hand with others in the team.

How do we deal with failure?

Teams typically find it easier to deal with and celebrate success, but our attitude to failure and how we action it is essential to our success. When dealing with complex problems, failures will happen. How do we accept failure is inevitable and, without delay, openly and candidly explore what happened, what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly, what we learnt and what we will do next?

To form or reset a team quickly, be deliberate about having these 6 conversations.

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