Self managed teams experiment update

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February 27, 2017

self managed teams

Self Managed Teams Update

Self managed teams have been in full force for about a month now, so I thought it’d be a great time to do an update.

For those of you who don’t know about our experiment, you can take a look at our guest blog post on HighRise and find out more.

This past month has been about looking for a way forward.

We were busy implementing a new marketing strategy for 2017 and developing key marketing goals for the year going forward. We all hoped that these would give the team more shape because goals mean tasks and tasks mean responsibilities. That should work just fine, right?

It didn’t really work that way, the more we dug into our own work, the more we lost touch with each other.

Our weekly marketing meetings ran into epic two-hour affairs with everyone cataloging each and every tiny detail of their work week. Feedback came to a stand still, collaboration was ad-hoc. We were losing touch with each other and didn’t want to face it.

Self managed teams reaches a flashpoint

It finally came to head when 90% of us booked holidays for exactly the same week, and no one had noticed a thing until it was too late. RED FLAG!

So Laura called a meeting asking everyone to get together and talk this out. Nearly all the team agreed. But in the interests of transparency, I’ll tell you I didn’t want to go ahead with it. In fact, I got defensive and iterated how wonderfully everything was going for my little department. Why? I just didn’t want to deal.

Surely we can just do it, right? How hard can it be!

The rest of the team sort of agreed and then also didn’t, they also agreed we needed to work to find a way to work together.

I was thinking of all the blogs I had promised to people, the new ebook I was working on, and the huge advertising campaigns on social media that needed to be implemented.

Majority won, and I’m glad they did.

See, I was just burying my head in the sand, trying to ignore some glaring problems. The team wasn’t operating as a team at all.

We found out we were working on uncoordinated projects, and we were getting diluted results because of this. We also discovered that because we hadn’t clearly defined who is in charge of what task, we were doubling up on the exact same projects! It was a mess.

So we sat down for an epic meeting to hash out how we’re going to work together going forward.

The Plan Going Forward

Thanks to that meeting we’re putting in place these three things

  1. We’re using DaPulse to keep track of projects across the team.
  2. Monthly lunches that act as informal meetings. These lunches are where we can show mutual support for each other and bond as a TEAM.
  3. Weekly half-hour meetings to go over KEY points of our projects.

Self managed teams is truly a work in progress. We have a sense of power and responsibility to change situations we don’t like. It’s not up to a manager to somehow read out minds and guess something isn’t working for us, we have to open our mouths and talk to one another.

This month we learned that while self managed teams seem like we’d be less reliant on each other, if we want to get ahead we have to work together.

Stay tuned, I’ll write a post next month to tell you all about how our self managed teams are going.

About Vanessa Rombaut

Vanessa is a wordsmith extraordinaire. Originally from Australia, she has travelled the world and the seven seas to write scintillating content for you to enjoy.

She likes books, travel, vintage films and sushi (not necessarily in that order).