By Wilson Wong & Katherine Sopp
In an increasingly fast paced world, it is easy to forget to prioritize the health of a team. One of Plaid’s most significant programs is our Team Building program that is focused on improving staff dynamics. Wilson Wong, Plaid’s President, has spent several years developing a team building program that now serves clients such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Equifax, CF Industries, and Miami Beach City Government. “The process of building and maintaining a cohesive and effective team is part science and part art. The science is the understanding of how effective organizations, teams, and individuals function versus the assessment of the actual traits of the team and individuals. The art is in the wisdom used in the presentation of content to the participants so adjustments can be made.” – Wilson Wong
To build a more effective team, Plaid’s Team Building program focuses on two areas - the tasks (management) and the relationships (leadership). To provide context and reference points, these models and methods are explored:
- Stages of Team Development – B. W. Tuckman
- Lodestar Model for Organizational Success – Plaid
- Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
- How a Collaborative Team Functions – Plaid
- Birkman Method © – Birkman International
Our initial approach to team building is to make an assessment of the team’s concerns. Through interviews with the team leaders and the usage pf the Birkman Method©, we can usually pinpoint the origin of a team’s issues. From that point, it is problem-solving and adjustments that the team members can make.
If an issue is task driven, Plaid can assist by:
- Providing insights of how the team approach collaborative teamwork and the adjustments that must be made
- Placement and/or development of team member by profiling the position’s competencies with the individual’s natural tendencies
If an issue is relationship driven, Plaid can assist by:
- Helping the team develop respect for each other through the awareness, understanding, tolerance, and appreciation of differences that naturally exist amongst individuals
- Identifying the “hot buttons” traits of the team and facilitating the conversation to prevent/resolve issues
If an issue is organizational structure, Plaid can assist by:
- Facilitating a conversation regarding their organizational and team clarity. This is done when there is a lack of clarity amongst a team about the key elements of purpose, principles, and performance of their everyday duties.
- Providing insights in the alignment between organizational requirements and team performances
Plaid’s Team Building program is perfect for Non-Profit groups, For-Profit companies, and Government agencies. The difference between working with these different entities is what drives the team. For example, Plaid has found that For-Profit companies, teams are driven by the “bottom- line” or the strategy (mission/vision). Government agencies are driven by the process driven role of monitoring and the maintenance of the purpose and principles. Regardless of what type of group Plaid is working with, we will seek to find the origin of the malfunction and approach the solution in the form of providing clarity and ownership to the individuals of the team.
Plaid intentionally designed the Team Building program this way because we do not presume to understand best practices of any industry that we work with in this capacity. Our clients are going to understand their line of work far better than we ever will. What Plaid does bring to the table is a knowledge and understanding of human nature. “Effective team building should be more than a temporary feel good moment. It should provide insights and tools for continual growth and development. The amount of success a team has is directly proportionate to the adjustments they make.” – Wilson Wong