I recently made a change to the workshops that I offer teams.

Specifically, I introduced a new support system for helping teams to integrate learnings and to effect real change. This comes in the form of a monthly team debrief session.

Here’s why I did it.

The biggest threat to team building is the status quo.

Teams arrive at an offsite energized and excited. They are able to zoom out to assess team behaviour and to think creatively of new and improved ways for the team to operate.

However, once they are back in their usual environment they default to their usual behaviours.

One might think that this happens because improving the team is not a real priority.

But that’s not true.

Instead, teams are busy, overloaded, and reacting to a thousand fires happening every day. On top of that, they are enslaved by the patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting, that they have grooved over a long time.

This decimates team building in two ways;

  1. The team does not implement the behaviours that were agreed upon during a “formal” team building event.
  2. When in a reactive state, we neglect time for learning and development. Therefore, we further perpetuate current patterns without creating a space for intervention.

How do we remedy this?

Here are some ideas;

  1. Create a monthly ‘Team Debrief” session with the team and schedule it into the team’s calendar for a few months in advance.
  2. Nominate someone on the team responsible for scheduling and running a team debrief for the month. Once they have done it, they can nominate who takes the responsibility next.
  3. Send out daily Whatsapp reminders to the team of the behavior changes that they should be working on. You could also start meetings with a quick reminder. We must keep change top of mind.
  4. Be firm with accountability. Everyone on the team holds everyone on the team accountable for agreed upon behaviours.
  5. Focus on one behaviour at a time.

Your enemy is the status quo.

Do not underestimate it.

Instead, plan for the ways in which you and your team can create enough momentum so you can escape the pull of how things have always been done.

Here’s to building better teams,