At Organizations by Design Inc. (OBDI) we model collaborative team learning every day, both within our organization, and in all of our client engagements. We have learned to learn together..

Recently, in a team development activity, the OBDI Team worked with a professional coach to identify our unique personality types. In understanding each other, and our inherent type characteristics, our coach was able to provide customized individual debriefs that highlighted not only our strengths, but potential areas of caution, as we continue our learning as a team.  

In this exercise our coach was able to pinpoint each team member’s complementary assets, and commented on the high levels of trust, self awareness, and inquiry, evident in our team. In advance of our group session, each member shared their own personality type with the group, and was asked to answer each of the following questions:  

  1. What was something new (an ah ha moment) I learned about myself and my personality type?
  2. What are some of the things I bring to OBDI that will add value, and promote growth, at this stage in our organization’s development? 
  3. What are some of the potential blindspots (a characteristic identified in the personality inventory, or something I know about myself) that my teammates should be aware of that may impact our work, or working relationship? 
  4. What do I need from my teammates in order to continue to do my best work for OBDI? 

As a result of the advanced preparation, our 90 minute team development session was a time of deep personal sharing and connection. Despite having years of work experience, we learned more about each other’s passions, motivational drivers, and what each member needs to work at peak performance. This session resulted not only in an enhanced understanding of each other, but a deeper respect and connection to each other that only served to intensify our commitment to our shared work at OBDI.

Our OBDI Team connects with each other once a week, and rarely for longer than an hour. We cover a lot of ground in that time because of our shared discipline, our principles, and our ability to model the characteristics of a Learning Team. In our team, we have a way of communicating that allows us to share, check out, and challenge assumptions, all in the spirit of understanding and learning together. As a team we intentionally avoid any negative language, opting instead to embrace and encourage creativity. We experiment, and though it works out more often than not, our efforts do not always go as planned. Regardless of the outcome, we take the time to learn from our experiences by assessing them through useful tools like After-Action Reviews (AAR). At OBDI we are committed, life-long learners who privilege the learning and the learning process over being right. 

In our 2-Day Collaborative Team Learning Workshop being offered November 4th and 18th, in partnership with ALIGN Association of Community Services, we are going to take workshop participants on an experiential journey; a journey focused on how best to build the knowledge and skills you need to create your own Learning Team. In this workshop we share the strategies and tools and will challenge assumptions and beliefs that impede a team’s ability to think more clearly, and creatively. We encourage anyone interested in pursuing ways they can transform their own teams into Learning Teams, to join us. 

If you wish to participate in a similiar exercise to the one described in this blog, OBDI can facilitate this process for your team. Our OBDI team is very well versed in the delivery of these types of experiences, which can facilitate teammates understanding each other at a much deeper level. 

Let’s connect for a virtual coffee conversation to explore building your personal, team and organizational development capacity.  We’re buying!