It is important to remember that, at the end of an alignment session, a team is not in stage four. To use Tuckman's verbiage, it is still "norming" and is not yet "performing." The seeds of high performance have been sown, and in the coming months, the team will probably experience some stage-four moments, but it may take months for the team to become deeply rooted in stage four. After their initial alignment, the team members must work hard to maintain the momentum, and how this is accomplished will be explored later in the chapter.
Throughout a team's journey to high performance, there are several factors that can either help or hinder it. These are highlighted in Figure 4-1.
There are many factors that can either inhibit or enhance a team's movement around the team-development wheel, depending on how they are handled by management. How does your team manage these factors?
How the Team Members Are Chosen
Inhibits if they are selected because "someone has to do it, and it's your turn ."
Enhances if their skills and experience are relevant to the issues that need to be resolved.
The History that Exists Among the Team Members
Inhibits if they have never worked together before. Has an even greater negative impact if they have a history of rivalry and ineffective interactions.
Enhances if they have worked together successfully in the past.
How the Team Members Are Prepared
Inhibits if the team members are not made aware of their goals, if they are not given a sense of the importance of the team's mission.
Enhances if the connection between their assignment and a strategic imperative is explained at the outset.
Who Explains the Team's Mission
Inhibits if it is left up to their functional leader.
Enhances if senior management demonstrates the importance of the mission by meeting with the team before it begins its duties .
Who Leads the Team
Inhibits if the team leader assumes everyone is on board from day one, doesn't encourage candor to get out of stage one, can't manage emerging conflict in stage two, or wants to command and control.
Enhances if the team leader recognizes which stage(s) the team members are in at the beginning, encourages candor, isn't afraid of open conflict, and is able to accept the role of facilitator rather than decision maker.
How the Team Will Be Judged and Compensated
Inhibits if the team members continue to be judged and compensated only on their performance of their functional duties.
Enhances if, from the outset, team members are aware that a portion of their performance rating ”and compensation ”will be based on the contribution they make to the team.