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Team development is hard...: "Just tell us what to do!"

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

In my work, developing teams and organisations to deal with change, I hear it time and time again. “Just tell us what to do!”.

Even though the willingness is usually quite high at the starting point of a new team journey, they almost all, without exception, hit a point where they don’t know what to do anymore in order to further develop.

“What nut are we trying to crack? Just tell us, Debbie.”

What is that nut then?

The nut is developing collective and collaborative intelligence. The primary way to exercise the collective and collaborative muscle of a team is to go through discomfort together.

Executive teams are usually só results focused that they feel very uncomfortable when they do not have a 10-step plan to tackle an issue.

But here is the secret: there is nó fixed 10-step plan to agility nor a 10-step plan to collaboration. It is hard work, it is growing wings on the way down. It is trial and error.

The important point is that the team is strengthening its collaborative muscle precisely by going through this annoying phase together. Only that way the team can build its capacity to deal with discomfort.

So, how does your team deal with discomfort?

How do you –collectively- make sense of an uncomfortable situation?

Do you start ticking off your to do list?

Do you start joking around to alleviate the tension?

Or do you use the opportunity for the discussions that really matter?


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