We work a lot with teams – they come in all sorts of sizes from two to almost eighty thousand – and we get to work with them at every stage of their evolution. As Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 framework identifies, there are four key stages:
In a VUCA world (see Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity) the need to rapidly form, strong, effective teams comes down to many factors including Consistent Methods, Repetitive Training, Shared Adrenal Experiences etc but so often it how people present themselves for the first time that determines how quickly and effectively they will bond. So forming really is the most critical element in the process.
One Page Profile Exercise
A tool we use to help this process in established and new teams is the One Page Profile. It can be done physically when people are in a room together or virtually as it’s fundamentally about sharing and learning about what matters most to you when working with others, it’s quick and is also a great way to get the energy flowing in a very human way. It also helps those who might not readily open up to do so without fear of criticism as everyone has to give it a go.
The steps are simple and it’s often best to identify someone who is naturally open and gregarious to get the process going.
- Share the One Page Profile Templates
- Give people 5 minutes to complete their profiles
- Go round the group and ask them to talk through their profiles. You can also ask them to post on a board or on a Mural if it’s a virtual session.
- Once each person has shared their piece move on or open to the group
You can play with the format depending on the tone – adding “What Animal do you liken yourself to?” can make it a bit more light-hearted or including “My ideal role would be….” can make it more business focused.
The key to success for the facilitator to establish a sense of Emotional Security in the room. Make it clear this isn’t about venting long-held grudges against individuals but about being honest about what you appreciate when working with others. It will be up to them if they want to adapt to your preferences and vice versa.
Example: Below is a real example from a workshop we ran with a completed form.