Brighter Strategies works with many nonprofit leaders in the context of teams. We find that the values leaders exhibit, especially in groups, act as a microcosm of organizational culture norms. Because your agency’s leaders set the tone for the rest of the organization, if you can successfully assess and improve high-level group behavior, often you can effectively infiltrate your organization’s cultural practices as well.
Last week we introduced two group assessments many organization development consulting firms use with teams: the Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) and the Organizational Effectiveness Inventory (OEI). In this post, we’ll demonstrate how these assessments can be applied to team strategy in your nonprofit.
Assessments and the Power Team Strategy
Let’s look at the five-step Power Teams Strategy outlined in the Brighter Strategies resource guide, “Power Teams: Creating Effective Work Groups That Get Things Done”, which you can download below. The OCI and OEI can be incorporated within each of the following stages of team development:
- Create the team
- Clarify team roles
- Communicate well
- Collaborate to get results
- Celebrate team success
Create the team.
During this first step of group formation, introduce the OCI and OEI to members. Provide an overview of the assessments and clear evidence of how they effectively drive team and organizational performance. Write completion of the assessments into the team charter to ensure all members understand and commit to using these tools.
Clarify team roles.
This is when the fun begins. Before your team can clarify its roles, it must understand the strengths of each player. Ask members to complete the OCI and OEI prior to any discussion about individual roles. The results of the assessments will help members reach consensus on who is fit to be a leader, who is a natural doer, and who is best at clearing team roadblocks, for example.
Communication is the downfall of many relationships, and the same goes for group dynamics. When your team fails to communicate, it fails. Fortunately, your power team now understands the range of constructive, passive/defensive, and aggressive/defensive norms represented by members. And such knowledge is the first step toward healthier communication. Ensure the group leader refers to OCI and OEI results to help guide constructive communication habits.
Collaborate to get results.
When it comes to a team getting its work done, often competing personalities, priorities, and positions can derail basic operational tasks. Like the prior step of the Power Teams Strategy, use group assessment insights to keep members on track toward accomplishing their goals. When you play to the collective strengths of the team, collaboration will naturally occur.
Celebrate team success.
This final stage of team development is simple for a team that understands group dynamics and roles, communicates healthily, and collaborates efficiently. During the celebration gathering, build in some time for a summarizing discussion of how the OCI and OEI assessments contributed to the team’s power strategy, as well as improvements that can be made in the process for the future.
For more information on team assessments and team development, contact organizational development consulting firm Brighter Strategies today.