If a team is to make the best of its skills and resources, it is important to reflect together on successes and failures. The team then uses this knowledge to meet and exceed business goals and to benefit the team, its stakeholders and the organization.
1. The team generates individual and team learning from its successes and failures on a regular basis.
Most teams conduct de-briefs at the end of projects, initiatives or major events that evaluate expected results to actual and answer questions like what went well and why and what can be improved upon. There are multiple opportunities to engage in learning: prior to a project or an important external meeting (“pre-flection”) or during a project or initiative (mid-action review) as well as at the end (reflection). How might the questions change at each stage? Has your team used its learning to become more creative and more innovative?
2. The team conducts regular reviews to explore what is and isn’t working for the team and in its stakeholder relationships.
Are your team members open to feedback? How do you engage others in providing the feedback? How does your team review its effectiveness both outside and inside for the team to learn in real time?
3. The team uses the leaving and joining of members as a learning experience.
Teams are not static. Sometimes members leave and new members join or we add additional members to the team. Whatever the reason or the situation, it is important that powerful learning opportunities aren’t lost. What went well? What might we change about how we work together and how we engage with our stakeholders? What successes do we want to build on? How will we leverage the outside experience of new team members? How do we want to help our new team member(s) to engage as quickly as possible?
Take a moment to consider how your team learns in order to create high value and realize your business goals. What is working well, what can be improved? Could team innovation and your business results improve with a focus on team learning?