Imagine the following situation. The ten members of a working team have known each other for a long time, they share similar opinions and points of view, generate open and creative discussions on the issues that concern them and achieve good business results. Communication flows without effort or misunderstandings. They are clearly a high performance team.
Suddenly, two of its members leave the team. Let’s say one is transferred to another organization within the company and the other one retires, both being replaced by two new members. One of them comes from another team abroad in the same company, known for her great work achievements, but she has no personal relationship with any of the members. The other one just finished college with honors and is a stranger to all.
What do you think will happen to the team dynamics? How will the alignment process be impacted to continue achieving the team objectives? Will they reorganize to support the success of each team member?
From the moment that a team member changes, the team changes. Many of us may remember familiar transition situations, from (1) being welcome and empowered to contribute with our own ideas and experiences, to (2) being indoctrinated about how things were done in that team, or even (3) being ignored assuming that the integration will automatically take place with the relentless day to day working “routine”.
Considering each of the options with both the business results and the satisfaction of all the team members in mind, we would conclude:
(3) Ignoring. Let’s forget about it and send it directly to the shredder. Ignoring never adds value in any context.
(2) Indoctrinating. In the best-case scenario, the impact on the results of the new members will be neutral. In addition, what about their motivation? Is it being considered? Can the team achieve what they don’t pursue?
(1) Welcoming and empowering. It forces the team to unlearn, requiring from all members an open mind and accepting the challenge. For sure, the results will change, as well as the satisfaction from everyone. In which direction do you think they will change?
Which of the three options do you think your organization would adopt?
At this stage, we leave our questions open for the prone-to-reflection summer time.