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True North Labs Team Development Workshop

Creating solutions that empower better health

We have developed our strategy and committed to teaming (ie agreed ways of working) that draws on our strengths and improves how we lead TNL to achieve sustainable success

Developing into a more aligned and interdependent team:

As we move from start-up to growth in a very dynamic, technical and competitive market we need a growth mindset and a positive team dynamic. As a part of our team development process in 22 June 2022 we met as a leadership team to discuss and establish:

  • How we make decisions

  • How we share information

  • How we set/clarify expectations

  • How we give timely feedback

Growth Mindset Descriptions

Growth mindset is the belief that an individual can grow and develop through dedication, hard work and purposeful practice and not just rely on give talent

Resilience Mindset

Growth

Strives to learn and grow by embracing challenges. Engages in purposeful practice

Resilience Mindset

Seeks feedback from others and views feedback as a way to learn

Attitude to Feedback

Resilience Mindset

Engages in challenging tasks where might not succeed. Learns from mistakes and setbacks

Attitude to Failure

Learning Mindset

Humility

Believes can learn from others. Does not feel the need to be the "smartest in the room"

Innovation Mindset

Curiosity

Actively looks for new ideas and perspectives. Energised by different opinions

Learning Mindset

Attitude to complexity

Takes time to understand the factors that influence complex problems. Doesn't jump to assign blame.

Learning Mindset

Perception of potential

Believes that can develop new skills through effort and practice and that skills are not fixed

Innovation Mindset

Collaboration

Shares information openly with others. Works with rather than competes with colleagues

Innovation Mindset

Agility

Open to trying different approaches and acting with incomplete information. Responds quickly to changes

Our growth mindset

Having all completed the Mindset Advantage survey and reflected on our own strengths and what we bring to the team. We discussed the collective strengths and how to avoid the potential blockers and blind spots that might get in the way of our progress.  

Screenshot 2022-06-09 at 13.54.12.png

Team Workshop Outputs

My hopes for this session

  • Forming an understanding of who in the team contributes and how

  • Agreeing our decision making process

  • Checking we are on the same page for making decisions

  • Understanding strengths and weaknesses of the business and the team

  • Make the team more effective

  • Continuously learning

  • Clear expectation of what's expected of the group

  • Foster a professional working environment - debate/support/feedback

Our Ground Rules

  • Respect different ideas and views. Sometimes an initial period of disagreement is good

  • Be open - share and challenge. This is not a beaten path. No single person has the answer

  • Show humility - express vulnerability and awareness of what you don't know

How We Make Decisions

We discussed our best/most successful decisions to date, and what happened to make them good decisions

Highlights and takeaways

  • This new industry with a high degree of uncertainty 

  • In the early days we were rushing into areas due to FOMO

  • As the business moves from start-up to growth the focus need to move from funding to value creation

  • More recently, we have undertaken a deeper investigation into early stage opportunities, involving Jon and Tristan over a 3-4 month period, in order to increase our knowledge levels 

  • We deliberately kept the investigation team tight but kept others informed that it was going on

  • We built a deeper understanding of the customer

  • We have a better understanding of the team strengths now and where they contribute most in our value chain

  • Focusing on real customer opportunities drives collaboration

  • As our understanding of the market builds we are becoming more discerning about what sort of business suits us (higher quality accounts) and the clients that we want to go after

  • We propose a 'collaboration funnel' to sit alongside our 'customer funnel/value chain'. See below for initial draft

Action:

Jon/Sharon to develop 5 criteria for judging customer value/potential to aid decision making at the early stage

Jack work on HCDA (15).png

How We Share Information - Our key meetings

Action:

Richard to refresh the priority projects spreadsheet and breakdown milestones into outcomes based goals

Monday Morning meeting - full team coordination (30 mins)

  • A pre-prep meeting (15 mins) will take place at 1pm on a Friday with Jon/Sharon and Richard to clarify the priority items for the following Monday

  • Chair will rotate between Jon, Sharon and Richard

  • Focus will be on current projects/key accounts

  • Attendees to update on: Progress on what I'm doing for you...AND, this is what I need from you

  • Meeting to capture tasks allocated to people

Wednesday management meeting (45 mins)

John to chair

To cover:

  • Information sharing on key issues

  • Unblocking issues

  • To use visual updates - Richard's spreadsheet

  • Keep the Goals current - recognise they are dynamic

  • Break down the milestones into outcome based goals

  • Inject some feel-good moments - recognition of progress. Celebrate successes and learning

  • A check-in so everyone updates on their top priorities

 

Team to consider frequency of a regular strategic level meeting that can also cover 'teaming' progress (ie focusing on both the 'what' and the 'how'

How We Share Information

People to consider 'Why', 'What' and 'How' when sharing information.

 

Why: Clarify if the info is to support a live action or simply for more general awareness/learning

 

What: Judge level of info sharing needed. Don't swamp/overwhelm people...leave them asking for more

 

How: Choose the appropriate channel - weekly meetings, 1:1s, Slack, informal chats, Hubspot, etc

How we set / clarify expectations

Move beyond simply hoping that people will do things as quickly as they can.

 

When agreeing an action be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound. Be clear what you expect and text if it's possible/achievable.

 

When an actions/request is complex, allow time/space for the actionee to think through what needs to be done and how and ask them to back-brief you (usually within 24 hours)

 

We will use the Asana system to track actions

 

Actions will not be allocated to people on Asana, only already verbally agreed actions will go on Asana. 

 

When a customer opportunity moves to the next stage of the value chain then the leadership of the task in Asana will pass onto the new lead.

 

Jon will take ownership for the project management of the early stage of projects, Sharon will take ownership for the project management of the later stages. They will agree how they manage the transition on each project.

Action:

JB and Sharon to agree the progress tracking of projects/tasks in Asana and how transitions will be managed. Share back with the full team when done.

How we give timely feedback

We agreed some ground rules for feedback

  • Keep focus on what's best for the business rather than making it too personal

  • Keep it credible - share what has been observed and reference specifics rather than generalised comments

  • If personal then keep it in a 1:1 discussion

  • Be respectful and professional

  • Offer suggested action to improve

  • When receiving feedback then don't be defensive, welcome it and seek to understand more - our Mindset suggests that as a team we should be good at this

Reflections on the workshop/process

We finishes with a short reflection on what has worked well in the session and the overall team development process and what could be improved

 

What worked well

  • The process itself - helped us understand each other. Highlighted that we all want to keep learning and improving

  • The prompt to consider Potential, Complexity, and Collaboration more fully

  • A neutral moderator helped probe the issues in more detail

  • Discussing things that have gone well. Working out what's working strengthens our strategy. Also got into things that didn't go well. Need to maintain this.

  • Internal diagnosis was a bonus

  • The fact that we've done it. Discussion has brought huge value.

  • Realisation that some changes we need to make aren't drastic. More refinements to iron out.

 

What would be even better if...

  • We need to move from discussion to implementation now

  • Suggest we check-in in 3-6 months time on what's improved, what's not

  • Opportunity to wipe slate clean - let's take it

  • Where do we go from here? What's our follow up to ensure we improve?

  • How do other team do it?

  • Might have been better if we were together face to face, but in reality we do most of our work remotely so perhaps it was the right thing to do it remotely. It worked well anyway.

We aim to hold each other to account in our commitments as we continue to develop as a team, and we agreed to check-in on our progress in 3 months time.

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