Twenty Eleven is the year we talk about growth. We have been drawing the steps to meet an organization’s growth potential. So far, we have talked about:
- The Nature of Entrepreneurial Organizations
- Setting the Organizational Direction (Strategy)
- Taking hold of the Market (Marketing)
- Executing the Strategy
- Leading through Growth
- Cultivating the Culture of Growth
- Managing Business Performance
- Growth for the future
- The Consequences of Growth
What does it take to lead an organization through growth? I do not think there is one answer to this question. What we have presented so far are ways to manage your people—the team—that will bring you to growth. As we close our discussion on Leading through Growth, its best to understand how all of these comes together in the actual work.
Work, according to Wilson and Bates (2003) has four stages: Exploration, Plan, Action, and Review. Today’s post will explore each stage and how it relates to the stages of team development and key team roles.
Exploration- to explore is to examine or to investigate systematically. It is common for most teams to jump ahead into action once a project has been identified. While the eagerness to act is a good sign, it connotes a hit or missed approach to pursuing a project. Remember, not all projects involve teams that know each other. For an organization on the path to growth, its team may be composed of old employees and newly hired people. In pursuing a project your team is going through the forming and storming stage, while team development is at this point, going into work with exploration as the initial agenda complements the status quo.
In exploration, the team builds the projects overview. The team discusses the project aim, where they are in terms of skill and information and what they require to complete the job. During this stage the team is able to create a laundry list of what needs to be done while figuring each other’s strength and weaknesses. During this stage, the team role that takes the lead role would probably be the shaper, the coordinator, the plant, and the resource investigator.
Plan – exploration deals with figuring who is part of the team and what needs to be done, planning involves deciding how things get done and who’ll be accountable to it. The planning stage can be best compared to the norming stage wherein the rules of engagement have been set. Planning sets the stage for getting the work done. During the stage goals are defined, time allocations are made and processes are set. At this point, the team’s work is divided accordingly ensuring that everyone contributes. An effective plan allocates time for changes/adjustments to the work and for review.
The coordinator and team worker key team roles are important during this stage of the work. Getting everyone prepared and willing to do the tasks assigned to him or her is critical.
Action – This is where plans become reality. The action stage is about execution—making plans happen. At the stage everyone is informed of the plans, work has been disturbed and members go on implementing their contributions. At this stage, the team is already at the performing stage of their development. Each team role is important at this point. However, those that are probably critical at this point are the shaper, implementer, completer finisher, and specialist. These roles will be at the forefront of the action stage.
Review – In approaching a project most teams take for granted the review stage as much as the exploration stage. The review stage allows the team to make revisions and adjustments to their plans and actions as new information is made available. At the same time, this stage ensures that the team’s output meets the identified objectives and standards of the team. Without a review, the team is unable to control the quality of the output and the performance of the team. Beyond criticism, the review stage allows everyone to examine the mistakes/weaknesses and determine what could be done to prevent or remedy shortfalls. Teams make time for the review stage, its allocated time in the plans.
During this stage, while not necessary limited to this stage, the monitor evaluator leads the team. Not only is s/he monitoring the team’s progress, but as well as the team’s output.
From discussing delegation to a team’s stages of development, we could see how everything relates to ensuring that work gets done the right way. Pursuing growth is risky, but it can be managed if we approach it with a certain level or structure/organization. Ensuring that the team has all nine (9) key team roles and goes through each stage of work is managing at least 50% of the organization’s path to growth. It is not enough to want growth, business owners must be able to lead through growth by organizing, equipping, and managing the team that will help him or her get there.
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