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HBR Leading the

Team you Inherit

Michael D Watkins

1.0 - Team Assessment

Experience based intuitive assessment

Ability to tackle particular challenge

Importance of Diverse skills

Attributes that can be shaped

Engagement & Focus

Inherent Trustworthiness is difficult to develop

Collaboration or Independent Work

For Turn-around People already up to the mark. Focus on skill development when things
are stable
To sustain Teams success More available time to develop high potentials
Expectations from people should be based upon Importance of Role
One-on-One Meetings + Team Meetings + Input from stake holders

2.0 - Reshaping the Team

Organizational Culture
Leaders Mandate
Available Talent Pool
Performance Behaviours
Share information freely
Identify and deal with conflict swiftly
Solve problems creatively
Support one another
Outside unified face
To enhance performance behaviours focus on
Operating Model

2.1 Composition
Alter individual roles to match capabilities
Revitalize people Adjust scope of existing roles
Swap jobs
Create new positions Carve work differently

Replacement Underperformers/Capability Mismatch

Cultural and Political Problems
Takes time and energy
Leaders must work with inherited teams
Only during dire conditions Toxic personalities & incapable critical people

During Normal Turnover create space for desirable people

Encourage marginal performers to take different roles
Valuable people not a good match other positions in organization

2.2 Alignment
Sense of purpose and direction are more or less right - people are not pulling together
What ? Mission / Goals / Key Metrics
Why ? Vision / Incentives
How ? Team strategy / Plans and Activities
Who ? Individual roles and responsibilities
Interviews and GDs to discover Hidden Incentives and Competing Commitments
No incentives to help each other
Teams competing for available funds
Misaligned Incentives creating conflicts
Develop dashboards of metrics to be reviewed regularly
Restructuring of teams based on geography to create unified functions

2.3 Operating Model

Identify how and when people come together to work
Increase / decrease core members and design new protocols for follow up
Create Sub-Teams for collaboration b/w independent members
Activities that require more attention and faster feedback
Cross-functional teams to refine and execute go-to-market strategies
Meet sub-teams weekly to reduce reaction times
Full team Meetings Monthly. Information sharing and strategic issues
Strategic Meetings (SM) Monthly. Vision / Strategy / Business Model
Operational Meetings (OM) Short & frequent, Forecasts, Short-term performance, Plans
based on results
Learning Meetings (LM) Ad-hoc. Internal failures, crisis, emerging issues, Product recalls,
Major marketing events - introduction of competing products
OM can block SM and LM during single recurring meetings. Consequently - First define OM attendees & frequency, followed by less frequent SM and finally event definition for LM

2.4 Integration
Express confidence, rebuild trust and establish ground rules to sustain desired behaviors
Conduct expert evaluation through anonymous survey & follow up interviews to
ascertain Confidence about capability matching
Transparent information sharing
Belief that commitments will be honoured
Psychological safety to express divergent views
Security that confidences will be maintained
Unity around decisions once people agree
Share the found structural flaws and steps already taken
Inherited team with ve group dynamics require remedial work. Reshape group dynamics
Agreed Behavioral principles (information sharing, respect all, one team)
Transparent and upfront communication about decision maker small group / team
Intervention (team meeting / privately) whenever unproductive behaviour emerge
Standard practice to revisit behavioral expectation - any time change in membership or

3.0 Accelerating
Team Development
Build on assessment and reshaping to energize the team with Early wins
Increase peoples confidence in their capabilities and reinforce the value of new processes.
Clear framework for
Work Specification
Critical External Stake-holders
Responsibilities for relationship building
Methods and messages to share results with rest of organisation
Once there is success keep building the virtuous cycle of achievement and development