While having lunch with a few colleagues, the topic of MBA programs came-up. The tradition nowadays is to break the class up into teams to simulate how many of the students will work once they graduate and join an organization.

After year 1 was completed, the dean asked the students if they wanted to switch the teams around for year 2 of the MBA program. The answer was a resounding NO! Why? The students explained it had taken six months to learn how to work together and they were just now working together effectively.

The point here is even if you have worked with the same team members in the past, no team is exactly the same because the environment changes and objectives change. It takes time for a team to learn how each other works in the current environment with the current objectives before they are effective.

Reducing that time, for example, from six months to three months translates to time and money for the stakeholders in the MBA program as well as projects in the business world.

If a project team has a $50 million, 2-year project and it is known that 5-8% of the budget is spent in the first six months, mainly because they are learning to work together, what if we could reduce that time of learning to work together? In this case, 5% is $2.5 million. If we could help the team learn to work effectively in three months, that’s real savings.

How could you do it? One way is to use a strengths-based assessment to help a team more quickly learn to work together to create a common language, rules of engagement and identify potential ‘flash points’ between them ahead of time.

If moving-up to a Freaky Fast Start would increase satisfaction, productivity and more value realized by everyone involved in the project – would you go there?

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