Home Concepts Strategy Coaching with Groups and Teams The Journey from Group to Team: Stages of Development and the Human Spectrum

The Journey from Group to Team: Stages of Development and the Human Spectrum

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Building, Growing and Maintaining Performance

It is often tempting to rest on our laurels when we have been able to transform our group into an effectively running Team. It is important, however, not to become complacent, for as we have repeatedly noted, groups and Teams are dynamic entities that never quite stay still.

We suggest first that the dynamics of leadership in a well-functioning Team must remain alive and continuously re-examined.  It is precisely because the Team has been successful that the question of shifting and expanding Team leadership often comes to the fore. The following guidelines might be of value in assisting this process of shared learning and creation. Not surprisingly, it is the Team members who must stay most alert and take on increasingly mature responsibility, in order to meet the key challenge: How can the leader and the team keep training each other to avoid a leader-centric climate?


Shifts from focusing internally to a focus on outside matters and future purposes

Shifts from an emphasis on power and hierarchy to a focus on collaboration, development and ultimately succession

Shifts from unilateral communication with subsets of group to greater transparency and openness in sharing concerns and opportunities with all Team members



Shift from competing for attention and resources to collaborating in the equitable (and often expanding) distribution of attention and resources

Shift from blaming one another to sharing responsibility and focusing on solving the problem

Shift from not discussing the elephant in the room (a critical but unacknowledged issue) to being bold and open about engaging with the elephant

Shift from a focus on immediate results to a broader and systemic perspective on value added results

Shift from relying on leaders and outside sources to do the measurement of Team performance to taking responsibility for this measurement and analysis of resulting metrics

Shift from being tough on existing Team members who are “different” to welcoming this diversity of perspectives and practices

Shift from attracting and welcoming new members who are like those already in the group to the welcoming of people with diverse perspectives and practices

Shift from tight control of workflows and interactions to agility within changing environments both inside and outside the organization

Shift from avoiding conversations and actions that reveal gaps in knowledge, vulnerabilities or needs to a willingness to take risks and learn from one’s mistakes

Shift from a focus on tasks (at the cost of relationships) to a perspective and set of practices that balance and integrate task and relationships.

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