A CEO asked me recently, “What models does The Bailey Group base your Leadership Team Development consulting on?” Having just completed a team fundamentals session with an executive team the previous day, and because all our work is based on research and practice-validated models, it was an easy question to answer.
The Bailey Group’s Leadership Team Alignment work is based on the following principles:
Performance problems with team members must be addressed before team development can be undertaken successfully
The organization needs a clear vision and strategy that the team aligns itself to
The team leader must have (or be working to develop) a leadership style that supports effective teamwork
Team development is an on-going process (not a one-time event) of data gathering (both quantitative and qualitative), data evaluation, creating and executing team development plans, evaluating success, and maintaining progress
To develop, teams need to focus both on getting the right things done (task focus) and on creating an atmosphere of “psychological safety” (healthy relationship focus). As they do, healthy development occurs (form, storm, norm, perform)
What is task focus?
The team needs to be aligned regarding purpose, goals, roles and key processes-
- To be a team, a group must have a core purpose that creates interdependence
- The core purpose needs to be translated into a set of specific, measurable goals with timelines, so the team can measure its success at meeting its purpose (one year, three year)
- Each team member must have a clearly defined role that she is committed to and is aligned both with the expectations of the leader and other team members
- Team meeting agendas must align with its purpose and goals. In this way, the executive team avoids doing the work of leaders one level down and stays out of the “weeds”
What is “psychological safety”?
- According to “Project Aristotle” at Google, psychological safety is “A team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves”
- Psychological safety is built as team members learn more about each other, learn to engage in productive conflict, become more authentic and transparent with each other, and increase transparency with each other (even when it is difficult)
The use of valid and reliable assessments such as the Hogan Leadership and Team Reports is also a critical element to provide insight into personality and team strengths and blind spots.
If you are CEO or C-Suite leader and your team is not performing at a high level, The Bailey Group can help. We have worked with literally hundreds of teams in the past thirty years and can bring that hard-won experience to the challenges you face. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk.