Now that we have all formed our groups and completed four months of working together, many of us would have went through different phases of development and learnt a lot from each other. That person who is always late to a group meeting, the team player, the hard worker and some of us may have even experience phases of turbulence where members disagreed and argued, which is absolutely fine. These are important stages of development that this blog will look at.
Throughout this blog, I will be using Bruce Tuckman’s model of stages of team development and outline major behaviours and actions that happens in each of the stages with emphasis on team effectiveness and impact on the overall performance. The figure below is a visual on Bruce Tuckman’s model.
Stage one of the team development is the initial forming of the group or team. Here member are excited to meet which other, for many of us in design thinking, it was the first time getting to know each other (as we had to mix up between Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship with others from Managing Creative Economies). Every member according to Tuckman is at their best behaviour yet confused as they are not sure about the actual objective of the project/task.
Probably many of you will consider this stage is as the toughest point, however I see it as an opportunity for learning and setting ground rules for all the group member to be on the same page for the project to be effective. Majority of the team arguments occur at this stage. Behaviour change from the initial stage and people become more like their usual selves which causes disagreement to arise. This opens up the space for each member to be transparent, allows opinions to flow as well as understanding each other better. I believe this is a vital stage before productivity actually kicks in.
Norms, values and responsibilities are agreed among all group members which set a clear objective to work towards. Relations improve as well as an increase in tolerance as each person will understand their responsibilities. At this stage team effectiveness and performance inclines drastically as shown the in the graph above. I assume that majority of the design thinking groups should be on this stage if not the performing stage.
The team reaches a point where the environment is at an optimal point for all the members to achieve their given tasks at the highest possible standards. All members trust one another which excludes the need of a hierarchy within the group. Additionally, empathy and helpfulness are two critical traits members express at this stage where everyone wants to help the other to achieve that common goal. This in my opinion will be the most exciting stage for all groups.
The ultimate stage, where group members harvest their efforts and a reflection on lessons learnt and on the milestones achieved throughout the journey. At this point the task as been accomplished, allowing members to depart. Hopefully by the end of March for us.