Dynamic Reteaming | Heidi Helfand

Summary of: Dynamic Reteaming: The Art and Wisdom of Changing Teams
By: Heidi Helfand


Prepare to dive into the world of dynamic reteaming, a powerful strategy to navigate the complexities of changing teams. In ‘Dynamic Reteaming: The Art and Wisdom of Changing Teams,’ Heidi Helfand examines the Ecocycles of team change and how they affect individual, team, and company levels. Gain insights on sensitively adding or removing team members to foster growth, learning, and performance. Explore various strategies to harness team dynamics for maximum effectiveness. Uncover methods that encourage employee engagement in building and reshaping teams to improve communication, learning, and ultimately bottom-line results.

Dynamic Reteaming

Dynamic reteaming is a concept that involves productively working with changing teams. It consists of three levels: individual, team, and company, all affected by different circumstances and changes. Adding team members can bring new energy, fresh ideas, and potential to the group’s cumulative knowledge and intellect. However, when team members leave, it can create a painful and disruptive dynamic, especially if they were integral to the team. As a team leader, it’s essential to understand that it takes time for the remaining members to accept the loss psychologically. Ultimately, dynamic reteaming requires respect and consideration for people and their contributions to the team. By altering a team’s structure through reteaming, positive change can be promoted, and learning opportunities for team members are created, strengthening the group’s potential.

The Pitfalls of Frequent Team Shuffling

Managers who frequently move team members around may believe they are promoting success, but this strategy can often backfire. Human beings have their own ideas, beliefs, and feelings, making team chemistry an important factor in success. Highly functioning units shouldn’t be disrupted. Instead, teams can analyze themselves to increase their effectiveness and identify structural inefficiencies. Some organizations even give employees a say in building and reshaping teams. Routine reteaming can encourage knowledge sharing and help build well-rounded teams. Additionally, employees should have the option to switch teams if they find someone willing to trade places. The key takeaway is that while change can often be necessary for growth, it should not come at the cost of a team’s cohesiveness and productivity.

Mastering Dynamic Reteaming

Successful dynamic reteaming is tailor-made for each organization and requires employee input, managerial expertise, and a clear purpose. This boosts the company’s competitive edge and minimizes operational risks. The five common patterns of reteaming should be adapted to fit the organization’s specific needs.

Building an Effective Team with New Hires

Building a strong and effective team can be tricky when it involves adding or removing team members. To make the process smoother, companies can seed new teams with experienced employees who are able to accept the challenge and drive the team forward. For new hires, it’s important to start by creating a positive and welcoming environment. Assigning mentors to new employees also generates acceptance and inclusion. Protocols should be established for addressing the consequences of employees leaving or getting fired to acknowledge the loss and move forward as a team. Keeping existing teams informed of new hires also helps to create transparency and open communication. By following these strategies, companies can create an environment where both old and new team members can work together smoothly and effectively.

Growing Pains of Team Expansion

The challenges of scaling teams are many. Find out the four key indicators that signal when it’s time to split into smaller units.

As companies grow, they need to add more people to their teams. However, as teams get larger, their efficiency can be disrupted. In this summary, we explore the warning signs indicating that teams might need to be split into smaller units. The four key indicators include longer meetings, delayed decisions, more divergence, and tuning out. Longer meetings occur because communication suffers as companies grow, and instead of a 15-minute meeting, it turns into a much longer one. Decisions also take longer to reach since bigger teams have a harder time coming to a consensus. More divergence can happen as team members form subgroups to address specific issues, leaving some out of the loop. Tuning out of large teams can happen, making it difficult to recognize teammates’ voices on calls or remember everyone on the team. It is crucial to communicate the reasons for breaking up a team and articulate the new team’s objectives to ensure everyone is on board. Encouraging employees to share their opinions on where they want to go conveys that they are valued.

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