Do you recognize this phrase – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing?
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
The Team arrived on Monday. This family owned business was really challenged. We joined the production meeting.
First clue, it did not start on time. Our suspicions were confirmed when the update lasted 90 minutes. This organization was in trouble. The leadership group was not a team. There were a collection of new individuals and some with 20 years experience.
Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase “forming, storming, norming, and performing” in his 1965 article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” He used it to describe the path that most teams follow on their way to high performance. Henry Ford is credited with the quote, “Coming together is a beginning Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Susan Holman described the phases as follows:
Stage one: Forming
The first stage encompasses the transition from a group of individuals to a functioning team. During this time, members build confidence and trust in each other as well as their leader. In this period of instability, you may initially notice:
· Frequent complaining about the organization
· Inability to focus discussions on relevant tasks
· Silence in meetings
· Little or no interaction between members
Stage two: Storming
People often begin to panic when they realize what is expected and the amount of work ahead of them. As co-workers adjust, you may notice:
• Complaints about management and/or the viability of the project
• Questions about the knowledge or skill of individual team members
• Defensiveness among colleagues
Stage three: Norming
After the storm, members become used to working together. Conflicts are less pronounced as individuals work respectfully and productively, accomplishing shared goals. The team is cooperatively establishing ground rules for working together as a well-oiled machine. At this point, the leader needs to continue to find opportunities to encourage and recognize individual and communal achievements. Communication methods might include:
• Formal one-on-one meetings
• Informal time together (after work)
• Intentional team building exercises (possibly off-site)
• Meetings that acknowledge milestones
Stage four: Performing
As a group matures, it will smoothly accomplish a significant amount of work. Everyone is participating and collaborating in an effective unit and independently working through interpersonal problems and challenges.
At this point, communication among team members or with leadership often appears effortless. This ease is based on the concerted and consistent communication groundwork laid in earlier stages. Established processes allow the team to work together toward common goals. The leader should continue to monitor performance, communicate project milestones, and celebrate successes. (BUSINESS INSIGHTS | WINTER 2010/2011 EFFECT –Larson Allen)
The Team at THE PLANT was really in phase one. They had other issues too. The organization was under scrutiny by their major customer. They had employee turnover and equipment issues, a near perfect storm. Our Team huddled to plan our strategy, how we can help this Family business? We agreed, data, up time and team building.