February 2012: Team-Building: A Worthwhile Investment

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

How much time and attention do you and your organization give to team-building? In this edition of Transforming Challenges, Senior Consultant John Reid makes the case for investing the time in order to help teams function most effectively.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • Lucien Roy and Sue Secker had several productive days in Washington D.C. at the end of January at the conference of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. The first pamphlet in a series entitled “Strengthening Catholic Identity,” jointly produced by ACCU and The Reid Group, was distributed at the conference. The first pamphlet focused on the role of the Mission Officer; the next in the series will be published at the end of March.
  • We are pleased to announce that the Tacoma Dominican Community in Tacoma, WA has received a grant from the National Religious Retirement Office to contract with The Reid Group on fund development and strategic planning. Tom Reid and Sue Secker will work with the Community over the next year.
  • Lucien Roy and John Reid have begun work on an executive search for a Vice President for Mission Integration for the Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, FL.
  • John and Sue have been engaged by the Providence Health System in Spokane, WA to conduct an executive search for a Director of Ethics.
  • he National Leadership Roundtable for Church Management has published the four modules for Diocesan Planning for Excellence written by The Reid Group consultants John Reid and Maureen Gallagher. They are available on theChurchepedia site.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

Quotes for Inspiration and Action

One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up,
add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire,
large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends;
needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamites.

Master Jin Kwon

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
Isak Dinesen

We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgement of the intellect is only part of the truth.
Carl Jung

Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house… let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.
Mother Teresa

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.
Mahatma Gandhi

Feature Focus

Team-Building–Always Worth the Effort


John Reid, Senior Consultant,
The Reid Group

All of us have been part of groups of various kinds-from family to classmates to co-workers. Sometimes these groups are effective, building strong bonds. At other times, groups can be ineffective or not helpful to our growth and development.

Groups can be understood as a collection of people: carpoolers, bus riders, fellow airline passengers, etc. Teams, however, are groups with a shared purpose and a clear understanding of roles and expectations. One such team is a symphony. If every musician came to practice doing their own thing, or if they only want to play the violin, there would be no beautiful music.

The same is true for any effective team, whether in the family, the workplace or the larger community. These teams need to focus on their purpose or mission and clarify the roles, responsibilities and expectations for each member of the team. When that work is done, teams are able to thrive and make a significant impact.

Even when the purpose and roles are clear, however, it is important to understand that all teams go through stages of development. B. J. Tuckman describes four stages of team development: forming, storming, norming and performing.

  • The forming stage address the factors that help people feel they belong to the team and are respected as contributing members.
  • Storming deals with the inevitability of conflict and the experiences of difference on a team. The more that conflict can be welcomed as leading to superior decision-making, the more that the collective wisdom of the team can be brought to bear on those decisions.
  • In the norming stage, teams identify their guidelines of behavior (e.g., we begin and end meetings on time, or we take time for personal check-in at the beginning of meetings, or we welcome conflict as well as life-giving humor as important contributors to teamwork).
  • The performing stage focuses on what Stephen Covey calls the two bottom lines of any organization: the promotion and enhancement of relationships and the accomplishment of results.

Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, makes several comments regarding teams:

  • “The fundamental characteristic of the relatively unaligned team is wasted energy.” None of us likes wasting energy or time, so a focus on productive team-building is a good investment.
  • Why is it, Senge asks, that people with IQs of 120, 130 or 140 operate in teams that exhibit a collective IQ of 50? Too often teams that are struggling are willing to settle for the lowest common denominator in decision-making in order to avoid conflict. The most effective teams aim for a collective IQ 200 or 250 by building on the best thinking of each member.

A commitment to building strong, effective and mission-focused teams is well worth it. The results will make, like the best symphonies, beautiful music.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity–principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization 
Peter M. Senge

In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations-ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.

Mining Group Gold, Third Edition: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Team for Innovation and Results 
Thomas Kayser 

If two heads are better than one, how about a team of heads? An effective team can be more innovative than an individual. But how do you get there? While it is true that building and managing a strong, productive team is difficult, Mining Group Gold gives you a set of proven tools, techniques and processes that you must use and practice at all levels of your organization to build and maintain strong, collaborative teams. Based on 30 years of research and applied work with teams and organizational development by the author, this updated classical guide–now in its highly revised 3rd Edition–shows you how to plan, start-up, facilitate, and close-out efficient and effective collaborative meetings.

Feature 2

Making the Case–for Fundraising

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant, Mediator, Coach
The Reid Group

Without vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

Just as a lack of vision or purpose stagnates a people, so does the lack of funding impair the ability of organizations to achieve their mission.

Knowing how vital it is to secure adequate financial resources in support of their mission, why is it that so many organizations–especially faith-based and nonprofit organizations-have an aversion to fundraising? How do you and your organization think of fundraising–as a distasteful or necessary evil or an opportunity to invite more people to enrich their lives by investing in causes that make a difference?

To be successful, it is important for organizations to adopt the latter attitude, so that fundraising is not shunted to the margins of an organization’s attention but rather is seen as a vital and integral part of the whole of the organization’s mission.

The Reid Group approach to fundraising stems from a belief that it truly is an opportunity to offer people a way to make a difference in the world. Our approach is respectful, relational and invitational:

Respectful: we ask questions of potential donors about their priorities rather than starting with a focus on the organization’s needs, and we acknowledge their generosity in support of those priorities.

Relational: we are donor-centered, focusing on establishing or developing a relationship with a potential donor for the long-term, regardless of their ability to contribute to the immediate fundraising effort.

Invitational: we invite potential donors to enrich their lives by participating in and making a difference in a world bigger than their own interests.

As you look at your own organization’s approach to fundraising, do you dread it or welcome it? A change of perspective can make all the difference.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from Amazon.com.


And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.
Kathy Johnson, Editor
Transforming Challenges
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