May 2013: 6 Steps to Build Your Team

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Do you want your team to be more effective? Senior Consultant John Reid uses the metaphor of a symphony to describe some steps that can help your team “make beautiful music.”

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

  • John Reid and Maureen Gallagher will begin work on the “Making All Things New” planning project in the Archdiocese of New York on June 6-7 with a presentation and discussion with both Archdiocesan and parish leaders. The 12-member onsite team will be in New York for the first time on September 24-25, 2013.
  • Members of the New York planning team are: John Reid, Maureen Gallagher, Tom Reid, Lucien Roy, Rick McCord, Karen Castellon, Joe Orlando, Joan Neal, Mark Mogilka, Charlotte McCorquodale, Sr. Rosemary Huddleston, and Noreen Welte. Also joining the team are Reid Group staff members Jane Cardwell and Kathy Johnson.
  • Tom Reid has been hired by Covenant Health System in Lubbock, Texas to conduct a search for a CPE Supervisor.
  • We are pleased to congratulate two candidates recently hired as the result of successful executive searches: David Pike has been hired as Senior VP for Mission and Community Outreach by Mercy Health in Cincinatti, and Andy Santos has been hired as Senior VP for Mission Integration by St. John Providence Health System in Detroit.
  • Maureen Gallagher and John Reid will facilitate the chapter for the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity May 19-26 during which time the sisters will address important issues regarding their future and will elect new leadership.
  • Former Senior Consultant Steve Titus has been selected as President-Elect at Iowa Wesleyan College. Congratulations, Steve!

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

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.
Mark Victor Hansen

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.
Erma Bombeck

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak… Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
Cesar Chavez

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
Daniel Boorstin

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

Feature Focus

6 Steps to Build Your Team

ImageJohn Reid, Senior Consultant,
The Reid Group

There is no “I” in team.

This adage is especially true when it comes to teams working in an organization for a common purpose. In fact, one definition of team I use often is “a team is a group of people with a shared purpose as well as clear roles and expectations that allow the team to work smarter, not harder in achieving purposes.”

When I have the opportunity to work on team-building with staff from a nonprofit organization, a parish or school, or even a for-profit setting, I often think about what will help the individuals both preserve their individuality and create unity in the midst of diversity. The image comes to mind of a symphony: many different women and men playing different instruments yet working together to create beautiful music that couldn’t be made by just one or two sections.

The image is nice in theory, but how do we achieve it in reality? There are six steps, in my experience, that help teams create “beautiful music” together.

Step 1: A shared understanding of the purpose that unites the team.
What is the team’s mission or desired outcome of working together?

Step 2: Clarification of roles and expectations.
Just like in the symphony where different roles (instruments) work together to create music, it is important for teams to understand the contributions expected of each individual to the whole outcome.

Step 3: Conflict management.
Every team will experience conflict or disagreement. Every member of the team needs to commit to naming the conflicts as they occur and to manage them openly and honestly. Conflict management contributes to superior problem-solving and positive team morale.

Step 4: Be flexible.
Unexpected challenges will show up regularly during the team’s work to achieve its mission. A degree of flexibility is always helpful; adjust your plans mid-course when necessary to address these challenges. Flexibility can often transform challenges into opportunities for learning and better outcomes.

Step 5: Learn from the experience of every team member.
A commitment to learn from every team member is another essential component of effective teams. The collective IQ can grow as members share learning, surprises, and questions thereby enhancing team learning and performance.

Step 6: Have fun.
While teams most often are expected to perform serious work and achieve serious outcomes, it is also good for the team to have fun along the way, to enjoy the experience of working together and celebrate both their successes and struggles.

I believe teams that practice these six steps increase immeasurably their own learning, personal satisfaction and desired outcomes. I encourage you to experiment with these ideas on your teams and share your learnings and successes with us.


The Fifth Discipline: the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization 
Peter 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: 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.


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


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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