Teams working in an environment characterized by VUCA constantly have to perform on a very high level to be successful. But professional athletes know that performance peaks must alternate with other phases.
Working on complex challenges is like professional sports
For professional athletes and high performing teams alike, “constant” does not mean “continuously”. Rather, “constant” means regular performance peaks. Between those there are other necessary phases: rest after an especially high performance, or preparation for another upcoming peak. Nobody can perform continuously on the same high level: “constant” thus means regular – and always in the moments it matters most!
Changing the focus!
Peak performances in high performing teams usually have an outward focus: a product is about to be launched, a new client is being acquired or a new service developed. The phases between those moments are characterized by the daily, operative business – or by a change of direction. In the first one, the focus is mainly on processes. But in the second, the focus is directed inwards: Why are we here? What makes us a team? Without these phases teams rapidly end up in a dead-end and performance slumps.
Work needs to be meaningful
Just as professional athletes, teams with complex tasks and a high level of requirements need strong intrinsic motivation. Without it, nobody is able to invest the amount of energy needed for success. Hence, the goal must be important for each member personally. But also knowing that it – and the pathway to reach it! – are right, creates meaning.
Professional athletes set themselves new goals for each of their competitions to achieve this. Teams do the same for projects or strategic initiatives. To state just once “We will be the best!” is not enough.
Belonging enables innovation
Questioning goals and directions needs security, openness and courage. This is only possible when through regular discussions and reflections each member clarifies why they belong to the team and that there is in fact a common base. Only through this confirmation is it possible to embark on a new journey!
For this inwardly focused phase we developed a special program (a short description of all our programs you find here: DEX Programs):
“Explorer“ – for Teams from Board to Project Teams
This program is equally aimed at distributed (remote) teams and at those working primarily in the same place. It can be a yearly ritual or be initiated in moments of concrete change.
Building trust and strengthening relationships as a base for successful teams
In one, two or even three experiential workshops – depending on the desired length of the program – we work on relationships and cooperation. Especially for remote teams this is an added challenge: most interactions are about specific tasks or issues – the chat at the water cooler does not happen anymore. Consequently, the image one creates, or reinforces, of one’s colleague is tied exclusively to these interactions. If somebody does not do what they said they would, trust erodes quickly. The reasons for this behavior, which often used to be delivered in informal chats, disappear. Therefore, in the workshops we focus on engaging with each other as whole human beings, on chatting with each other freely and sometimes even without a specific result in mind.
By embedding the process into our digital platform “DEX Portal” we keep the focus on the goals, agreements and commitments developed during the workshops: The participants themselves define which milestones should be reached at what point in time and who is responsible for what. This is recorded in the schedule, progress is documented and commented on in the chat function. There are inspirations and tools – accessible on mobile devices 24/7. Thus, contact between team members remains strong even between workshops. Developing their way of working together stays a priority – instead of drowning in everyday business.
Diverse topics and flexible facilitation
Depending on the needs of the team, topics can be conflict management, change processes, development of a new company culture, implementation of agile management etc. An in-depth assessment and clarification of contract scope and content stand at the beginning of the development process as such.
This process is then co-created by the team and professionally guided and supported by DEX!
If you have any questions or interest, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Munich – Germany +49 (89) 388 99 749, Cologne – Germany +49 (221) 169 18467