Navigating Team Roadblocks

Great Ideas Going Stale While No One Implements Them?

We’ve all been there. A great meeting of the minds with a flurry of ideas and possibilities ends with the hopeful expectation of all that can be done to improve the team’s situation. Then months go by and nothing happens.

If you’re anything like us… You scratch your head and ask yourself what happened?

  • You had a problem to solve or project to pursue.
  • You pulled together an awesome team.
  • You got them connected to each other and through the Form & Storm.
  • You developed amazing ideas or designs or plans or draft documents.
  • You finished the day with responsibilities assigned and confidence.

… AND THEN IT STALLS!!!

The team members are frustrated. They complain that nothing will ever change. They feel like they can’t change… and the Leaders are tempted to scrap the team approach and dictate command and control style. (not recommended!)

Managers consider whether these projects are a good use of their people’s time and/or talent.

 

How did we get here?

When we are ready to contribute, we think this is the easy part (and statistically this is the strong suit for many Team Leader’s or Manager’s personality preferences). So many times we fall short. We think the hard work is done and that it will all naturally follow from the momentum built in connect and create. It’s not.

This blog series we dove into each aspect of eNthusaProve’s Connect, Create, and Contribute model for enabling joy in work. This is the final step, the contribute part. This is where everything comes together to be contributed to customers, or to fall by the wayside.

Need to catch up on the earlier posts in this series?  Here ya go.  Connect.  Create.

Hello Rubber. Meet Road.

When the team is ready to start contributing value to the project, this is when the system revolts (Ahh change! Don’t make me!) and roadblocks come up. This requires care and feeding from you, be you the Manager, Team Leader, or Team Member.

What prevents us, this connected team, from bestowing all that great value we created?

Roadblocks: The Signature of Contribute

When you leave that awesome team meeting where lots of great ideas are planned, what happens to you as you go back to the day-to-day routine? Life gets in the way, right?!?! We have found teams get discouraged by tangible roadblocks that get in their way, and intangible roadblocks of the culture, history, or personality traits.

Both types of roadblocks are just as challenging to a teammate contributing their value to a project. They both get in the way to derail work…and this is the finish line! What a shame for the team’s hard work to not get its “time in the sun” at this point!

What Are Tangible Roadblocks?

Tangible roadblocks are elements of the organization that are holding back project progress. For example,

  • Procedures
  • Contracts
  • Processes
  • “This is the way we’ve always done it.”
  • A directive from the customer or management

What Are Intangible Roadblocks?

Intangible roadblocks are interpersonal (between people) and intrapersonal (how I perceive the situation).

  • “I’ve been burned before” which leads to “I don’t want to contribute something that would be criticized.”
  • Teammates shot me down, so I’ll keep my head down and do what I’m told.
  • “Just tell me what to do” attitude.

None of these roadblocks have to be deal-breakers for the value the team is creating. Even rules can be changed. Relationships can be restored.

Check back for our follow-up blog on eliminating these roadblocks.

 

 

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