Team Evolution & Dialogue – insights from TA@Uni Surrey

At 18th-19th of March we had an honour to work with Uni of Surrey and SoL UK by hosting 2 days of TA workshops at UK. There’s a plan to implement TA to the educational field of UK, and therefore we are learning and working together. The workshops were hosted by Surrey Team Enterprise Project, STEP1 team. From TA the hosts were Petrus Piironen from 3rd year team company Cromita, Alexandra Tancula from the World Wide Team, myself from MB and Mikael Hirvi from Partus, the Team Academy adult education and brand managing company.

In the workshops one theme was rising up as essential part of TA, and here I want to reflect on it. There had been a thought of implementing TA in Surrey as short courses / summer programs with an intention of piloting it so. Before we even got into deeper discussion about the benefits and downsides of the short courses, Petrus got a system intelligent insight of showing this Team Evolution modelling made by a Monkey fellow Ville Hast.
We described this figure by sharing a fact that on the first year teams are less productive than members of the team as indivuals could be, but investing time for working as a team makes us exponentially productive by the 4th year. Then Arie de Geus took this figure in deeper analysis by sharing us a story and example of the power of dialogue from the Roayl Dutch Shell, where the management teams aimed to spend hours and hours dialoguing. Why so? Because due to the shared knowledege and understanding they gained by dialoguing their desicion making process improved remarkably making them fast at implementing desicions and committing people to work on changes. Dialogue simply brought competence for the company.

It was clear then, that short courses of TA are useful as pilots, but for making it really a successful learning program in the Uni no less than 3 years is the recommended lenght of a program, because team learning and dialogue need time. In Team Academy Finland team companies the first two years go for learning the dialogue with 8 hours / week basis and investing for learning, and the 3rd and 4th year as a team bring exponential growt in quality of the ideas and action of the team members and thus the revenues also grow. In adult learning programs 1 year time frame works well, because adult learners come with more experience and capabilities to think together than the BBA learners aged 18-30.

Summasummarum: dialogue is power and it’s wise to make effort for allowing time for it in any learning program and company. At this UK journey I started valuing our Mondays Are For Monkeys dialogue sessions especially! …we’ve got a chance to improve so much when we invest on dialogue.

With yellow Easter regards,
Henna Monkey

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