The other day I saw a very practical resource on the internet, the For Dummies website featuring an article that explained the differences between being a work group and a team.
It reminded me of the fact that in the vast majority of the cases we are not members of real teams. At the end of the day, if your “team” produces a set of work products that are individual in nature you are part of a workgroup, period.
Being part of a team is not just wishful thinking, you must be actually producing a collective work product. Hooli type of companies are probably the ones that can afford to have permanently paid staff to be part of teams to develop a breakthrough innovative technology. The truth is most of the companies in the world rely on work groups to deliver their operations and teams are just an exception.
This also reminds me of my last article where I wrote about the difference between meetings vs. workshops.
Individual workers that need to accomplish a collective purpose, such as attaining an aggregate sales objective or holding a certain level of budget expenditure, are often convened in meetings. Whereas the members of a team that is working to deliver a certain group output, such as a new product or solving a complex problem, they normally require a workshop.
Meetings are clearly the best a work group can have, whereas a team thrives with workshops. Is this the end of the world? Not really. You can have the sweetest moments of truth with your work group whenever you run a workshop instead of a meeting.
Workshops have several advantages over meetings. They cover in a short period of time what can take weeks or months to accomplish with meetings. Workshops create momentum by allowing everyone to collaborate on a solution and they produce a sense of shared purpose converting a work group in a team, during a limited period of time.
Beth Koloski proposes a basic formula to design a workshop that consists of dividing up your journey into three equal sessions:
However, without employing an experienced facilitator or without using a robust piece of software to help you guide the group processes, the chances are that your workshop results will be suboptimal.
Brainstorming is one of the most important methods to use in a workshop however you need to have expert guidance to do it properly. This 1’09 minutes video fromWorkspring reveals the latest research about brainstorming.
Alternatively, you can get training on the use of software tools that are designed to help you run effective workshops. Our company has recently created the Brainstorm bundle training course that allows you to take advantage of MeetingSphere software to doBrainwriting and a number of different variants of this fundamental technique to reach optimal workshop results.
Regardless of the path you may choose remember this important piece of advice from Sam Kaner:
in order for a group to reach a sustainable agreement, the members need to understand and accept the legitimacy of one another’s needs and goals.
Whatever the brainstorming technique you choose to use, make sure you also employ the silent brainstorm to address this upfront.
Want to learn more about how to use MeetingSphere? Register here.
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