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There’s a symbiotic relationship between the choices you make in assembling your team and how serious the organization thinks you are about what you’re trying to drive. What kind of team are you building? Are they star performers who are functionally strong but weak in leadership?  Do they set the tone for the culture you’re trying to create? Whether you’re the senior leader assembling the team or a member who’s serving on it, how well do your actions match your words?

The best leaders recognize that for development to be most effective, it needs to go beyond simply imparting skills to instilling a learning mindset. That mindset is accelerated when you, as a leader, model your commitment to continuous learning, and make it an ongoing part of the team’s work.

Starting a New Team

Teams follow a predictable pattern when they start up, whether they are a wholly-formed new team or a team that simply has a new member.  They want four questions answered: Why are we here? (which speaks to the team’s purpose)

Reflecting on Experience

One of the most important yet least practiced phases of any project is reflecting on the experience and what it can teach. Especially in today’s hectic business climate, by the time one project has come to an end, we are already engaged in the next. However, taking the time to reflect on lessons learned can have a significant impact on future performance, both for you and your organization.

Lessons Learned

Taking the opportunity to “close-out” with a project team when work is complete is an important but often underutilized phase in a team’s life cycle. It helps individuals move quickly and productively from one team to another, and organizations record and transfer knowledge that teams accrue. The methodology used to collect the lessons learned for a given project will depend largely on the size and structure of the team involved. Whatever the approach, here are key success factors for a robust “lessons learned” session.

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