The primary question asked during this first stage of the model is, “Why are we here?” The team must work together to identify a task that each individual finds personally beneficial, useful, or important to the organization. When team members are unable to envision a role for themselves, they often feel anxious and distance themselves from the group. Alternatively, when members feel more connected, they are more likely to participate in achieving the group’s goals.
According to the model creators, this is the stage during which “people want to know who they will work with – their expectations, agendas, and competencies.” Trust can only be established once team members become clear on their individual roles and responsibilities and establish a better understanding of each other’s work styles and experience.
Here is where the team works to identify a shared vision by discussing possibilities, variations, and the reasons these goals may or may not be the best options. Some disagreement can happen during this stage, so it is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page before proceeding. This is also a good time to address any conflict between individual and organizational goals.
This stage comprises the most constraining work the team will face during the entire process. If your work here remains unresolved, some team members may disown individual responsibility for the success of the team by going along with the preferences of others, while others may attack proposed courses of action without offering any feasible alternatives. Such behavior could indicate a lack of priorities, roles, or a clear definition of how work should proceed.
The implementation stage is dominated by timing and scheduling. You may cycle back through earlier stages of the process as your team encounters unforeseen obstacles and works to find its groove. The key here is to impose some shared processes for completing the team’s work. This can be achieved with online project management tools, flowcharts, or work plans.
While the design of this model might suggest that “high performance” is a destination that all teams reach, research indicates that many never do. But you don’t have to reach this point for good work to get done. The process outlined in the Drexler/Sibbet model is designed to increase the likelihood of becoming a high-performance team and spending more time in this stage.
The primary question at this stage of the process is, “Why continue?” You can think of renewal as both an ending and a new beginning. Each team member may want to reflect on what worked and didn’t work, what was achieved and can now be left behind, and what issues remain to be tackled.