I’m working 90 hours!

Ok, not me. But you are, aren’t you. I mean you’re sat there, feverishly working away. Lots of effort but so little in return. It’s like the inverse Pareto Principle. And you’re looking around you trying to figure out – where am I going wrong?! I have a to-do-list. I prioritise accordingly. I even have support. Why am I getting so little actually accomplished.

This is where I think you need to spin things on their head for a moment. Take a step back. What’s happening around you? Chances are if you’re working so inefficiently, even though you are trying to do the right things, others are probably being inefficient too. So how the hell do you sort that out?

Hello, I’m an OD professional! Previously, where I’ve spoken about what OD does, and who it involves, it’s been all very theoretical. So today, I’m looking to give you a handle on how situations like the above need to get resolved by someone removed from the project/team.

There’s a few things that need to be examined first. What is the purpose of the team? What are they meant to be producing? What are they actually producing? How are they resourced/assigned work? What planning methods are used? What measurement factors determine success? the answers to these questions will give you an initial assessment of current practices. It’s then important to look at what should be happening.

Questions like: What is the potential of the team? What value do they bring to the organisation? How are they supported by other business units? How integrated are they with the organisation? What Exec support do they have? Are they a recognised business unit? Are they a revenue producing unit? These give a perspective on how you want the team to behave and what you want them to achieve.

It then takes someone to look at the answers to the above, and draw up a plan of action. Appropriate presentations, sign off, buy in need to be had, but the plan of action needs to detail how to address the issues at hand. This doesn’t have to be someone concerned with OD necessarily. A manager can do all this, given they have the time and space apart from the team to do it well.

Often, when I’ve been involved in team development sessions, it’s not been about ‘bonding’ or ‘raising morale’. They might be a consequence of what you are taking them away for, but what you’re actually trying to resolve are day to day issues. The way you do it is by creating exercises that involve the team and allowing them to develop the solutions themselves. All the other stuff around: ‘fun’, ‘interactive’, ‘engaging’, ‘bonding’, happen as a matter of course because you’ve already been considerate in your approach.

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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