Team Development

Allan Drexler and David Sibbet have refined a comprehensive model of team performance, (Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance™ Model), that shows the predictable stages involved in both creating and sustaining teams. They say that team development has seven stages, four to create the team and three to describe levels of performance. The stages are:

Team Development

© 1990-1999 Allan Drexler and David Sibbet

  1. Orientation - WHY am I here?
    When teams are forming everyone wonders WHY they are here, what their potential fit is and whether others will accept them. People need some kind of answer to continue.
  2. Trust Building - WHO are you?
    People want to know WHO they will work with - their expectations, agendas and competencies. Sharing builds trust and a free exchange among team members.
  3. Goal Clarification - WHAT are we doing?
    The more concrete work of the team begins with clarity about team goals, basic assumptions and vision. Teams and definitions come to the fore. WHAT are the priorities?
  4. Commitment - HOW do we do it?
    At some point discussions need to end and decisions must be made about HOW resources, time, staff will be managed. Agreed roles are the key.
  5. Implementation - WHO does WHAT, WHEN, WHERE?
    Teams turn the corner when they begin to sequence work and settle on WHO does WHAT, WHEN and WHERE. Timing and scheduling dominate this stage.
  6. High Performance - WOW!
    When methods are mastered, a team can begin to change its goals and flexibly respond to the environment. The team can say, "WOW!" and surpass expectations.
  7. Renewal - WHY continue?
    Teams enter this stage when they finish projects, experience large organisational changes, or even take on new members. All these changes will necessitate new responses. This is the time to ask the question, "WHY continue? Is our work over? Is it time to form a new team?"

We have all experienced the 'other in us'. It is the version of our-self that puzzles us (and others) when it emerges from time to time as unusual, out-of-character thoughts, feelings and behaviour. And we are just as surprised when we see others act in ways that are strange and atypical for them. Sometimes we are amused and pleased at seeing a very different side of another person or ourselves. More often however, we are uncomfortable, distressed, and at a loss to explain what the episode might mean.

  Resolved Blockers
Orientation º Purpose
º Team Identity
º Membership
º Disorientation
º Uncertainty
º Fear
Trust Building º Mutual regard
º Forthrightness
º Reliability
º Caution
º Mistrust
º Façade
Goal Clarification º Explicit assumption
º Clear, integrated goals
º Shared vision
º Apathy
º Irrelevant competition
º Scepticism
Commitment º Assigned roles
º Allocated resources
º Decisions made
º Dependence
º Resistance
Implementation º Clear processes
º Alignment
º Disciplined execution
º Conflict/confusion
º Non-alignment
º Missed deadlines
High Performance º Spontaneous interaction
º Synergy
º Surpassing results
º Overloaded
º Disharmony
Renewal º Recognition & celebration
º Staying power
º Change Mastery
º Boredom
º Burnout

The purpose of conceptual models of this kind is to make it possible for people to have constructive dialogues with each other about where THEY see their own organisations, in order to come to some common understandings that can serve as the basis of important decisions.