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                The Austin: Creating alignment for a new team

                Michelle Sales/18 December 2023
                1 minute read time

                We’ve recently facilitated an amazing two days with a great bunch of people who have come together as a newly formed team. It may not always feel like it for leaders but creating the space for a team that has been re-shaped or restructured at the outset is always a brilliant investment.

                For this team, it may be the same players, but a line in the sand needed to be drawn. And being deliberate about why they now exist, how they want to act together and what’s now most important will set this team up for success in 2024.

                We love to start with “why” - Not just because we love Simon Sinek’s work but because it’s the first step in our IMPACT work with teams: Getting teams aligned and focused on their purpose and Intentions.

                Get quickly ‘below the neck’, roll up the sleeves and workshop the core purpose for the team. It strengthens the core of the team and deepens the foundations of trust and alignment.

                As we work with clients on their IMPACT, we have encountered another dimension for teams setting their purpose and intentions that can really affect performance: momentum! Momentum is the acceleration with which the team is able to effectively work towards their future purpose and impact.

                A way to foster momentum is to work through the following components:

                • Does the "why” inspire you and your teams?
                • Will it energise your people to take action?
                • Do they feel a sense of belonging within that purpose?

                An inspiring purpose that energises people will get the team in motion. Motivation and engagement will often come from that first move, and then, momentum and speed can be gained.

                This team had some excellent thinking on ideas that will have significant impact on the consumer experience over the next 5 years. But with 32 ideas, the list was way too big. Most teams find prioritising difficult. Some are challenged by saying no, some have a huge list of organisational priorities and others are drowning in compliance work.

                Aligning team priorities with what’s most important over the next 5 years was a key outcome of our time together. And - with clarity on what needs to be achieved and why they exist - the team was much more able to see how they needed to show up, both individually and alongside each other.

                Spending time together as a team and working on the team, not just in it, is important for growth, development and belonging. Teams need a good operating rhythm to spend time creating awareness of who they are at their best and how that contributes to the outcomes required for the business. Ensuring quality time is regularly spent together - where team members’ share experiences - enables not just individuals within the team to grow, but also the team itself.

                There is not a better indicator of the health of a team and the impact they can have than the desire to spend time together and lean on each other to make a difference.

                Mastering the potential of teams is the second element in our IMPACT model for building high performance. This helps set in place some great practices within your teams to create awareness, celebrate difference and ultimately set your team up for growth and higher performance.

                Most importantly you will be giving space, time and attention to a critical team ingredient: a sense of engagement, belonging and motivation. This encourages your team to be present and behave as a team investing in their own success.

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                Michelle Sales/18 December 2023