Category: Uncategorized

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

Only in the movies do groups come together and magically coalesce as if they were long lost soulmates, destined to come together for the greater good. In reality, things are often a bit less smooth. In most cases, teams go through a definable set of stages—something that Psychologist and professor Bruce Tuckman identified and developed a model for back in 1963. Tuckman’s “stages of group development” (sometimes referred to as “team” development) progress through the following phases: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Understanding the steps along the way can be helpful in speeding up the process since you’ll know what

The Leader’s Role in Change Management

Change is difficult for most people as it is something that can bring about feelings of uncertainty and doubt, especially in a corporate environment where people’s livelihoods are affected. A good leader recognizes this and does her best to guide her people through this often troubling process. Whether it’s a merger, acquisition, change in management, product pivot, or other upheaval, the leader’s role is to manage in a way that puts people at ease. While in certain scenarios there may be specific to-dos that are a part of change management (create documentation, organize all-hands meetings, etc), below we’ll explore a

How Team Building Challenges Can Help Surface Potential

A common experience among many of our clients is that they feel surprised at getting so much more out of our team building programs than they had expected. They gain insights and experience breakthroughs that they wouldn’t have normally associated with a team building exercise. People just don’t realize the far-reaching benefits of a structured program involving fun and engaging team challenges. More than just providing a fun way to interact, get to know one another, and have a good time, they are an excellent way to surface a lot of potential in your team.

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

As we discussed in a previous blog post about emotional intelligence (EI), it basically refers to one’s ability to detect, understand, and interpret emotions – both yours and those of others – to make better choices and decisions. With studies finding that EI is a better predictor of success than IQ, it’s understandable why so many people are interested in improving their emotional intelligence. The great news is that EI is indeed malleable, and something that you can actually improve upon – unlike IQs which are pretty much fixed. Keep in mind, though, that EI is actually a catch-all for

How to Increase Creativity in Teams

Creativity can be an ethereal thing. Some of us claim to be creative, others say they’re just not creative people, whilst others say it’s something that comes and goes. Whatever your relationship is with the muse, we can all agree that thriving companies are highly reliant on the creativity of their people. Creativity is involved in so many more aspects of business than those areas traditionally thought of as creative, like advertising, spilling over into product design, innovation, and problem-solving. With this being the case, it is important to encourage and foster creativity in your company. Here are a few

Emotional Intelligence: A History and Definition

Despite the fact that the term “emotional intelligence” (EI) dates back to a 1964 paper authored by Michael Beldoch, the concept really caught the public’s attention in the last couple of decades as a result of Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence — Why it can matter more than IQ (1994). The idea that something other than raw intelligence was a better predictor of success was a compelling thought, and though the concept of this new form of “intelligence” started out somewhat amorphously in its previous incarnations, many people have sought to create a model for studying what exactly emotional

Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Culture: How to Get it Right

With Alaska’s recent acquisition of Virgin America, one immediately thinks of the two company’s distinctive cultures and wonders what the transition will be like. “Culture has been a real challenge in many mergers, so we’re working to do things differently,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska President and COO who will also become CEO of Virgin America today. “We are being very thoughtful about culture and are working to create an environment that reflects who we are and where we’ve been, that also enables us to work together, be bold, and succeed in a rapidly evolving industry.” – From AlaskaAir’s Blog While sometimes

Is Perfectionism Holding You and Your Team Back?

Aside from being one of the most cliched answers to the interview question, “What is your biggest weakness?”, perfectionism can be a real detriment to you and your business – not to mention your health, with one study finding that senior citizen perfectionists were actually 51% more likely to die in their 6.5-year study! Perfectionism can be an insidious force in our lives and businesses, despite its perceived association with high achievement. Many famous perfectionists are lauded for their uncompromising vision, like Steve Jobs and Martha Stewart, and yet regardless of their achievements, they’re notoriously difficult to deal with according

The Rise of Remote Working: Its Benefits and Implications

Despite Yahoo!’s infamous move a couple of years ago to recall it’s remote work program – something publicly derided by many, including billionaire businessman Richard Branson – remote working is here to stay. Last year Gallup reported that, to date, 37% of US workers have telecommuted – up from 30% in 2008. Continuing this trend, more and more companies that don’t have any need for being in a physical location, like a manufacturing organization, are going completely virtual. Every year the job board site Flexjobs posts a list of companies that are either partially distributed or entirely virtual, and that

Managing Transitions at a Manufacturing Plant – Bridge’s Transition Model

Changes, whether personal or professional, are hard – especially when they’re not by choice. Recently, one of our lead facilitators returned from working with a billion dollar manufacturing client that was going through a particularly rough transition at one of its newly acquired plants. The company had recently hired a new general manager for this particular plant, replacing a well-liked, but under-performing, GM. Naturally, this replacement caused a disturbance in the ranks. Not just because workers at the plant lost a manager who they cared about, but because the new one had an aggressive style focused on productivity and profits

Using the SBI Model for More Effective Feedback

Feedback can be a tricky thing. More often than not it has a negative connotation and for leaders or anyone who gives feedback, it can be uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidating. Moreover, there are those instances when feedback goes awry, with recipients either receiving it poorly, or wherein the corrective intent isn’t absorbed in a way that leads to improvement. While giving feedback effectively may not come naturally to many of us, fortunately, there is a framework for giving it without falling into the counterproductive traps that we often do, like giving feedback in a roundabout way or generalizing and getting

Parties At Work – How to Use Them to Maximize Teamwork

Who doesn’t love a good party, right? They’re a great way to allow teams to blow off steam or celebrate an accomplishment, like a particularly good quarter or the launch of a new product. More than that, though, they help us relax and build camaraderie between team members who get to know each other on a more personal level. Moreover, parties often mix different teams, building bonds across different areas of an organization – a great way to help stave off siloing . Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting some team building out of your parties.

Breaking Down Silos in the Workplace

Grain silos are designed with one thing in mind – protecting the resources within from outside attack by pests, varmints, and other unsavory creatures. In organizations with a strongly siloed culture, the thought process can be quite similar. Siloed organizations have severe divides between different internal departments, something which prevents the free-flow of information that is critical to a business’s success. With the increasing complexity of businesses, this deeply rooted problem can be difficult to avoid. A side effect of organizational structure, siloing can result in numerous deleterious effects, such as redundant work, employee frustration and dissatisfaction, and overall friction

Survey Results: What Do Managers Need to Improve the Most? Communication (Infographic)

Well, the results are in, and the most common answer to “What does your boss need to improve?” was overwhelmingly “communication.” In a study with 3000+ participants, the breakdown was 52.5% for communication, accountability in a distant second with 19.9% of the votes, then positivity (12.9%), honesty (9.2%), and work ethic (5.7%), respectively. The study was conducted by Comparably, a company whose mission is to “Provide the most accurate and comprehensive compensation and culture data, to understand employees’ true value and needs to make work better.” They’ve compiled the complete results of their study in the handy infographic below. Being

Top Team Building Myths

Team building is touchy-feely This is a big one, as many of us recoil at the thought of team building due to its sometimes touchy-feely reputation. We cringe at the thought of revealing our innermost truths to our boss and co-workers around a hastily erected bonfire. However, this is a false belief as team building should be based entirely around its namesake – it is about building teams. This comes through creating trust by experiencing challenges as a group while working through the difficulties that arise. Trust, respect, and communication are the pathways to strong teams, not kumbaya circles, group