“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”  Michael Jordan

The key to building high-performing teams is to engage team members with diverse backgrounds in the process of clarifying direction and enhancing working relationships – such as building trust.  These are complex processes, whether the emphasis is on developing strategy for the years ahead, getting the team on track after significant organization change, or taking a good team to the next level of performance.

We offer a range of proven, extraordinarily successful team development programs and workshops that can be customized to meet the the team’s specific development needs.  We frequently conduct pre-session interviews or surveys (using quantitative and qualitative methods) to determine the exact nature of the client’s needs.  Based on the information obtained, we recommend a course of action that may focus on:

  • Clarifying the value proposition / mission for the team or organization,
  • Establishing clear goals and strategic direction for the team or organization,
  • Improving communication and working relationships across the team, with management and other areas of the organization.

We frequently recommend the application of powerful personality assessment instruments to help team members better understand how they and other team members prefer to interact, communicate, make decisions and deal with conflict.

We have worked with diverse populations at all levels of management in cross-cultural, multi-national settings (USA, UK/Europe, Asia/Pacific, South America).  Our group dynamics skills are second to none – combining our vast experience, bottom-line focus and  a strong sense of humor to produce dramatic improvements in team and/or organization performance.

 

Building High-Performing Teams

The foundational program is a two-day process (TeamStart) to define and clarify mission, vision, value proposition, goals, strategy, roles, processes and relationships for newly formed or intact teams.  Dramatic improvements in the quality of working relationships is achieved through the application of psychometric assessment instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Step II  Type Indicator (MBTI), Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (EQ), DiSC or other instruments as appropriate.  These instruments provide insights into one’s self and other team members’ communication and decision-making preferences.

TeamStart is frequently used to help accelerate a major organizational transformation and/or to drive team performance to the next level, starting with the senior management team.  This process can be extended to include a large segment of the organization population to directly engage more people and accelerate performance.  It is not unusual to include up to several hundred team members, as required.

Note that it is not unusual for groups to develop problems leading to dysfunctional behaviors – behaviors so serious that the work environment becomes uncomfortable, or even untenable, and productivity  and retention are negatively impacted. Working with teams in crisis requires a very special skill set. Although every intervention is unique and must be dealt with accordingly, we have handled many critical, highly sensitive situations over the years and are masters at creating a safe, yet controlled forum for drawing out and resolving even the toughest of issues. Rest assured: we treat all such events with sensitivity, professionalism and discretion.

 

Six Thinking Hats

A one-day seminar designed to teach the techniques developed by Dr. Edward de Bono to radically improve the way individuals and groups think, communicate and make decisions. The Six Thinking Hats method introduces a common language which enables parallel thinking across the organization which, in turn:

  • Produces extraordinary improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings;
  • Dramatically enhances the quality of communication in multi-cultural environments;
  • Leads to the creation of a culture of creative thinking throughout the firm;
  • Offsets natural human pessimism by enabling balanced optimism for group members.

Appropriate for all levels of professional staff and management, from entry level trainees up through and including C-suite and the board of directors.

 

Meeting Facilitation

How often do people come away from a business meeting feeling engaged and energized about the process, and enthusiastic and committed to the outcome?  We are experts at generating just such results, having designed and facilitated hundreds of meetings over the past 30 years.  We became immersed in the process in the early 1990’s, driving the implementation of electronic decision support systems for JP Morgan, New York.  Our expertise in group dynamics using technology was recognized in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The American Banker.

We have designed and facilitated sessions ranging from a few hours to multi-day events.  Our skills and experience in group dynamics and facilitation, including large group intervention processes, are, quite frankly, second to none.  Over the years, we have been called upon to facilitate hundreds of meetings, off-sites and all sorts of other events for a wide-range of purposes.

Sometimes we are called in to help navigate or diffuse a difficult situation; sometimes we are tasked with keeping a multi-day event on track; and sometimes we are asked just to interject a bit of fun, or “light but useful” education into an otherwise heavy and/or dull conference agenda.  Participants have ranged from graduate trainees to boards of directors at some of the largest firms in the world.  As a minimum, we help clients avoid meetings that become nothing more than a series of long, boring, “show and tell” updates by various key people.

 

JumpStart

A one-day structured session to accelerate the integration of a new manager with an intact or newly formed team, dramatically improving team performance as a result. JumpStart can also be applied to integrate new team members to an existing team. This process should be conducted within 3 – 4 weeks of the new manager or team member’s arrival.