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Turning individuals into team players


Following a restructure of our organisation we have a small number of managers who now, after many years working as individual decision makers, have to learn to work together, be resourceful, share, and be innovative and creative for each other. Their manager has asked me to look at how this group can change to become a team. Any suggestions?

4 Responses

  1. team charter….

    Notwithstanding the question of whether they are now actually a "team" or simply a group of individuals who are brought together for administrative purposes (your list of their required behaviours doesn’t mention a shared goal or objective but this may be implicit) you will find a lot of value in getting them together to work up a "team charter" of ground rules; you will find a straightforward "how-to" guide in Chapter 2 of "Team Management Secrets" (ISBN  978-0-00-734112-2).  In fact since it is the team manager who has tasked you with this mission you might like to let this individual have a copy of the book as helpful little aid memoire in his/her new (?) role.

    I hope this helps

    Rus Slater 

  2. Team and individual


    I’d be inclined to ask the managers themselves. You are right not to simply impose a team building approach upon them and hope that it works; it might even be counter-productive.

    I’d get them together as a group and ask them to identify the ways in which they still need to operate as individuals within this new context and the ways in which they now need to operate like a team (or a coordinated group, if they are not really a team). I’d then ask them what personal skills and behaviours they need to display more of, and encourage amounst themselves, to work towards being more of a team. And I’d ask them what, if they are not careful, might stop them from working well together, and how they might manage that risk. And, lastly, I’d ask each of them to state – perhaps even pledge – what they as an individual will do to support more effective collaboration and coordination to achieve business outcomes and to sustain a good working atmosphere.

    Depending on what comes out at each stage I’d be ready to offer a specific activity that might help. I’d also offer to come back in 10-12 weeks to help them review progress and to see then if there are any specific difficulties they are facing that they have not managed to address sufficiently themselves (eg communications – keeping each other connected with the right sorts of communications).

    Best of luck

    Graham O’Connell

  3. Thank you

    Hi Graham,

    your ideas are very helpful. I hope to use some of them in the New Year with the group. I do believe that they have the power to build the team that can deliver what is required of them.

    Thanks again,


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