Post-Crisis Leadership and Team Development – How to Get It Right

Post-Crisis Leadership and Team Development – How to Get It Right
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Why Post-Crisis Leadership and Team Development Matters
When something disrupts the way people think and work, leaders and their teams not only have to deal with managing the immediate fallout, but they must also create and enable a compelling vision for a preferred future state.  Post-crisis leadership and team development can be a tricky and difficult endeavor depending upon the type of crisis, the composition of the team, and the effectiveness of leadership.

When Post-Crisis Leadership and Team Development Matters
As Covid-19 disrupts our way of life, leaders have learned how important it is to effectively deal with the urgent and the important.  But other crises can be equally daunting within a business and require effective post-crisis leadership and team development to make it to the other side such as:

  • Legal investigations
  • Failed mergers
  • Misguided leadership
  • Team politics

The situations that lead up to these events can cause troubled or even damaged relationships and substantial loss of trust in the aftermath. Problematic internal team dynamics are costly and can lead to diminished employee engagement, loss of valued talent, lawsuits, and destroyed reputations. Companies can save hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars by taking steps to rebuild the culture, leadership, and trust among the team.

5 Steps to Get Post-Crisis Leadership and Team Development Right
Turning around a team to create more effective teamwork, collaboration, productivity, and innovation starts with:

  1. Alignment of top leadership
  2. Assessment of individuals’ needs
  3. Diagnosing the team
  4. Strengthening leaders at all levels
  5. Repairing distressed relationships

Essential and Enabling Conditions for an Effective Team
For the above five steps to work the team must be ready.  Based on decades of research from Ruth Wageman and Richard Hackman of Harvard University, there are three conditions that are essential to result in a sturdy platform for any team to be able to perform effectively. These are the three conditions to address first, before moving on to other concepts such as psychological safety or team member engagement. These include:

  • Being a Real Team – the members are interdependent and need to work together to accomplish their work
  • Sharing a Compelling Purpose & Direction – the purpose is challenging, clear, and consequential enough to energize and align team members
  • Having the Right People – the team has the right skills, diversity, attitudes, and behaviors to be successful

While not considered “essential,” Wageman and Hackman also identified the following three enabling elements that accelerate how fast teams create higher performance.  Together, these six conditions account for up to 80% of a team’s effectiveness.

  • Sound Structure – the right size, distributed leadership, good team task design, and processes
  • Supportive Context – aligned culture, information, resources, rewards, and opportunities
  • Team Coaching – someone who pays attention to and can help the team reflect, learn, and grow

To learn more about how far and how fast to push your team to get to the next level, download Leadership Performance Pressure – The Science Behind Performance Expectations

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