Team Merger

It makes financial sense to merge sometimes; the resulting cost savings for a business can make a very compelling argument on any balance sheet. Actually realising those predicted efficiency savings can often be more of a problem than originally envisaged however with the challenge often resulting in a performance hiatus that becomes a de-motivating and frustrating experience for all those concerned. The bottom line is that operations can be merged, processes can be merged, systems can be merged and people can be co-located. Merging their purpose, commitment and trust may require a different line of thinking and little more consideration.

Summary

The teams to be merged are first invited to reflect on their individual team histories, methodologies and operating principles before embarking on a series of carefully planned steps toward clarity, alignment and primary commitment to their merged goals. Following this solid start, a time table of post workshop activities is then developed and planned to facilitate further integration that will ultimately lead them toward total merger.

Key learning points and insights are enhanced by drawing upon lessons from the wild, illustrated by photos and video footage of real animal teams at work. The workshop is a highly interactive and practical experience.

Optional Team Effective Diagnostic (LED)

The Team Effectiveness Diagnostic is completed three weeks prior to the workshop by all team members either in a paper version or via a web enabled form. This diagnostic is a simple questionnaire designed to provide teams with an insight into the current status of the team's strengths, successes and areas for protection. T he collated report is brought into the workshop as the start point for discussion, issue identification, prioritisation and resolution. It is also strongly recommended that the merged team repeat the diagnostic 4 to 6 months after the workshop to measure and review progress.

Workshop outline

Gives details of all the standard sessions, however we are always happy to customise this workshop to meet your specific needs.

Target participation

This workshop is designed to suit existing teams who are about to merge or who have recently merged and are struggling to perform.

Support materials

Participants receive a copy of the comprehensive guidebook "The Practitioner's Guide to High Performance Teamwork" in which the usual dry textbook theory has been replaced with practical, action-oriented tips, text, worked examples, tools and key documents. The clear layout enables the team's sponsor, leader and members to pick and choose the most useful elements for them according to the size, nature and complexity of the team's goals.

Workshop Outline

The selection of sessions covered and the depth and breadth of coverage will depend on the teams diagnostic results, issues and challenges.

Introduction

A thought provoking and challenging opening makes it crystal clear from the outset that participants will be encouraged to surface their true feelings about the merger. Their natural fears & aspirations are treated with the utmost respect whilst leaving no illusions as to the ultimate purpose of the workshop.

High Performance Team overview

This session introduces the concept of the high performance team, in which fusion and cohesion between individuals is required; and contrasts it with a group, which basically remains a collection of individuals.

The change phenomena

Understanding the how change affects people is a major advantage when attempting to significantly alter working practices and relationships. When those who are actually going through the change take time to understand the change phenomena it is positively liberating.

The journey to high performance

So what does it take to convert a collection of individuals into a high performing team? Participants are introduced to the nine essential elements that must be managed to ensure the effective building of teams and sustaining of high performance. They are given a taste of what it will look like and feel like to achieve high performance, thus setting the scene for the diagnostic and practical sessions that follow.

Getting started with teams

Tools, tips and processes are provided to ensure that from the moment a team is created, it has a fighting chance of success.

Topics covered include: Selecting Your Team; Welcoming New Members; Team Health Checklist; Contracting.

Back to the future

The teams are now asked to review their individual team diagnostics and then present their findings to the other team in terms of the nine essential elements. A full and comprehensive presentation is required with time allowed for an interactive question and answer session.

Commonality review

Now in smaller mixed teams, participants are given the task of reviewing the presentations and identifying common ground - again in terms of the nine essential elements. The session is finished with a full group review of commonality and initial agreement on what is to be carried forward.

Essential Element: Purpose

Purpose is the first essential element, because lack of purpose hurts performance - big time. Now physically mixed, the team is tasked to share and agree the new team's goals and priorities, disclosing their personal aspirations and working together to create a team brief. Team reviews, assessment and consultant challenges combine with the practical application of this essential element.

Essential Element: Commitment

Teams without commitment will dissolve when the going gets tough or sacrifices need to be made. The second essential element involves the team in tasks that make explicit the level of commitment needed and currently exhibited by the team, and provides tips and tools for harnessing commitment as they move forward.

Issue resolution

The team selects and then works through one of their major team issues or opportunities, putting into practice some of the tools and processes introduced so far. Team and consultant evaluation and feedback expand on the team's own skills of observation and assessment, and identify team progress.

Essential Element: Trust

What does trust entail, and what impact can it have on the team performance? The team is provoked to move beyond the superficial treatment that trust often receives, to explore what it means in practice, and to gauge the level of trust developed so far on the team. Through exercises and reviews, the team learns how to foster trust between them and to deal with its violation.

Managing issues

This session opens by examining how the team will respond to their issues, and shows that having an issue is not the problem - the problem arises from how we deal with it.

Post workshop planning

Now all the basics are in place, the newly merged team members are facilitated through a planning exercise that will see them design and plan their own next steps. Commitment and ownership are the key elements here with the workshop moving into a facilitated stage. The team is finally invited to face up to its own new future.

Essential Elements: Principles

The team work together to select a set of principles - norms and rules governing how the team performs - that will assist their ability to perform effectively together. A Teamworking Charter and Behaviours' checklist capture the agreements reached.

Workshop review and closure

The team confirms and clarifies commitments made, decisions taken and next steps. The workshop itself is reviewed and key lessons taken for incorporation into subsequent team meetings.