Leadership and Team Development
Case Study

We recently worked with a team that had functioned successfully for many years but faced a new set of challenges that would require a new way of doing things. The reason for working with them had initially been to acquaint them with, and prepare them to work in this new environment. What eventually became clear is that the culture that had existed was not a good fit for the team in its efforts to get the job done. Three things became clear. The risk averse (don’t make mistakes) climate had to change. With innovation a priority, the ability to experiment was vital. Second, the leader needed to do more facilitation and less directing. These were capable people who needed to be full participants in the entire work process (define the problem, identify and execute a solution). And finally, the team needed to be mutually accountable and had an obligation to play their part, speak up, and hold one another responsible for each member’s contribution to the final product.

Over time, the team was successful but it took considerable time and energy to recognize what it would take to change work habits, culture and behaviors. One of the most important new practices which was invaluable was the team deciding to become far more direct in their communications with each other.