High performing team strives to be better

We were recently contacted by an in-house Organizational Consultant for a large integrated Oil and Gas company. Mike Shaw had worked with this consultant previously and we were thrilled that they wanted to work with us again. For this full day session Mike and Len Youden worked with the team.

The team was a relatively new division within the company but was stacked with high performing and high potential team members. There were a mix of new and experienced leaders on the team and their director felt it was time to do a check-in to determine how the team was doing. We were selected to assist with their busy full day meeting.

The team is geographically split between Calgary and Ft McMurray so they wanted to do an offsite meeting.  We chose the Cochrane Ranchehouse which turned out to be the right decision.

The company and the human resource leaders obviously put a high value on personal and team development. This team had already completed the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in addition to an internal team performance survey. It is a nice treat for us when you are working with a team who is already very aware of their strengths, opportunities and objectives so we hit the ground running.

We started the day off with a series of exercises and discussions to frame how the day will roll out. We quickly moved to a couple of larger and more complex team challenges which gave the group an opportunity to work on problems where none of them had technical expertise. This team was a group of engineering, finance and regulatory types so we had a lot of fun coming up with appropriate challenges. Throughout these team exercises we were able to provide opportunities for the team to observe how they worked together and communicated when no one was a functional expert. We design our challenges to allow people to have discussions they normally wouldn’t have at the office. We were able to highlight some key areas of strength and a couple of blind spots which we know proved valuable for everyone.

After lunch the fun began! We know full day meetings can be difficult for a lot of people so we set up a fairly long and complex strategic challenge. There were a number of elements to the exercise and we were very impressed with their level of organization. This team was full of competitors so nothing less than achieving their stated objective would have been success. The grounds around Cochrane Ranchehouse are an excellent venue for running a large scale strategic planning exercise.

We ended the day with a wrap up of the day’s events and discussions bringing together everything we hoped to achieve for the session.

Offsite meetings are a great opportunity for managers and team members to remove themselves from their normal work functions. At work, we all fall into our traditional roles and hierarchy but with challenges outside of our normal tasks, you can observe how the team defaults with the unknown. If used properly they can be invaluable investments and in this case we have no doubt the team will move to an even higher performing team.