In an earlier post, I listed 5 challenges in creating and sustaining team performance.
This post looks at changes in team composition.
Changes in Team Composition
Different circumstances require different skilled-knowledge & capacity.
Circumstances in a team lifecycle require new skilled-knowledge & behaviors. There is no guarantee that any person will gain these skills, understand their usage & make the behavioral changes needed for success in the new context of the team’s work.
A change in team member(s) may sometimes be required to unfreeze the team. This is evident when a team has been together for a long time & interactions have become so entrenched that the team prevents people from changing established behaviors.
Consulting & coaching a senior management team, they were stuck until a change in the vice president of operations. The change was accidental. The former VP had stayed on for long past retirement & finally chose to leave. The replacement, untainted by the team’s past, was intelligent, energetic, & brought a wide variety of new ideas from different sectors. He quickly gained the respect of the employee, CEO & other team members. He turned out to be the right person, needed at the right time to lead the effort to move decision-making authority to those directly accountable for the work & bring the employee voice back into strategic decisions of the organization. His changes to how the work gets done broke the norm of team member passivity.
This change in team composition broke the inertia–stuckness that the team & team leader had been unable to resolve while the former VP of operations was still a part of the team.