SPG Partners and Associates offer expertise in all phases of team development, often referred to as “team-building.” Team development work focuses on creating the infrastructure and the processes necessary to support any team in fulfilling its goals and objectives. SPG supports its clients with in-depth theory and practical knowledge in the areas of group dynamics, adult development, learning theory, resolving conflicts, strategic thinking and stages of group development.
While each assignment is unique to the given team, certain steps are similar. During the contracting phase of the work, SPG works with the client to select a process (e.g., approach, frequency of meetings, type of feedback) and to identify desired outcomes and success measures. Work often begins with a team assessment, selected with several factors in mind.
- Where is the team in its life cycle?
- How comfortable will team members be in sharing information about their team and how it functions?
- What is leadership’s contribution to the current level of team performance?
The answers to these questions and others inform the process of data gathering. Once information has been collected, it is sorted and feedback is provided to the team. Substantive conversation and action planning follows as the team considers the data and the alternatives available to them. Ultimately, plans are implemented and progress is tracked. Results are evaluated at agreed upon intervals. Content areas addressed in team development work include the following:
- Clarifying team leader and team member roles
- Deciding on team ground rules or working agreements
- Defining team mission and goals
- Learning specific communication skills for productive conversation and dialogue
- Agreeing on problem-solving and decision-making tools
- Selecting project management processes and working through conflicts
Many of the elements above are defined in the “team charter” created early in the process. SPG helps the team apply all of these elements to the team’s work, and as the team develops, SPG helps it to build on its successes, identify what it needs to do its best work and recognize how each member contributes to the ultimate success of the team. SPG brings in-depth knowledge of leadership and group dynamics to all of its team development projects and is focused on transferring this knowledge to clients so that, ultimately, they are self-sufficient and high-performing.