What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…
I’ve upgraded nearly every part of Mirror Mirror over the past 2 or 3 months, inside and out.
Two major enhancements that have been made to the Mirror Mirror process are that:
- We now have 6 variations of Mirror Mirror based on different team situations, such as virtual teams, new teams, teams in deep change, executive / senior teams. All of these are available as a Full Picture or QuickScan process
- The data we collect from participants now includes how participants see their context as well as how they see the behaviours in their teams. This shows up where the alignment gaps and why, leading to a team effectiveness score.
Much of this was inspired by research that surfaced in our collaboration with TU Delft. Having studied the literature on collaborative learning, and social and cognitive factors that drive teamwork, we found that teams (bringing together people with different experiences, values and knowledge) are more effective problem solvers than are individuals.
But effective collaboration (problem solving) is not merely a case of putting people with relevant knowledge together. Team members face the challenge of integrating their different perspectives and developing shared cognition (a shared understanding) of the problem at hand. Doing this is driven by interpersonal and socio-cognitive processes and practices (conditions and behaviours).
The behaviours needed to construct a better shared understanding have been identified in four categories:
- psychological safety – a shared belief that the interpersonal risk taking will not carry negative consequences
- team cohesion – shared commitment to achieve shared goals
- potency – the collective belief of team members that the group can be effective (confidence)
- interdependence – a) task related: reliability of interconnections between tasks; b) outcome related – team members’ personal benefits and costs depend on goal achievement.
These do not occur in a vacuum but are influenced by the social context in which they take place, in terms of willingness to engage in the joint effort to build and maintain mutually shared cognition.
In other words – these behaviours make for ways of working that are necessary to develop a shared understanding. Together, these lead to team effectiveness.
Fascinating stuff! And now I’m back on to my pipeline.
I’m mailing people politely one by one, asking if they’ve had a great summer and if they want to pick up on the conversation. There are a few positive responses, but it feels too difficult. Why’s that?
OK – let’s look at this.
So far, we have been pursuing 2 sales avenues and are getting some traction but it’s taking way more heavy lifting than we had envisaged:
- As a consultancy offer direct to clients.
This has been a difficult road because
- MM is interesting but lacks credibility / profile
- MM lacks hard evidence of the value
- There are lots of similar things on the market competing for attention – it’s difficult to differentiate
- Running Mirror Mirror as a one—off activity with one team could be too confrontational for team leaders / too random as an activity for the wider organization
- We don’t have the network / background to sell at this level?
- Selling licenses for Delivery Partners to run Mirror Mirror.
It has been difficult to attract partners because
- MM is interesting but lacks credibility
- There are lots of similar things on the market competing for attention – difficult to differentiate
- MM lacks hard evidence of the value.
So, here’s a concept. How about we turn the effectiveness score process into a free, online, fully automated tool. This free tool is heavily promoted using paid social media. Teams participate and receive a free and easy report showing top 5 strengths / weaknesses plus their scores.
If we got more than 1000 teams, the benefits to the business would be
- attention to our brand and broader offer, increased our profile with potential clients and delivery partners.
- differentiation and credibility
- benchmark data for score comparisons
Now there’s an idea….
Mirror Mirroris a data-driven alignment process that accelerates effectiveness, team by team. It is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to leverage the collective ability of your people.
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