How to navigate growth as the new team leader (+template).
How do you get into a new team as a leader and navigates how to grow best? Whats the challenges, possibilities, and pitfalls? Get the exact recipe for building a growth roadmap by involving your new team.
Coming in as a new leader of a team can be challenging. The learning curve is steep, and you have to set a new direction without having a ton of understanding of current and past activities.
You also have to develop a ton of new relationships and give the team a chance to figure you out.
A classic approach is hosting a bunch of interviews with your team individually and take with others around the company to get a sense of where you are at.
This tactic is something you should put on top of that to create a clear path to growth, based on the team’s perspective on past and future.
If this is done as a collaborative process as well, it does 3 things for you:
- It lets your people know you trust them and listens to their opinions.
- It lets your people be honest about the status quo and what needs to change, giving you stops to weave into your roadmap.
- It lets everyone have a look at the future on both good and bad, as a team.
Challenge your new team
The tactic is built as a short challenge for the team: “How can we take X to the next level?” with the X as whatever the team is doing. Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Revenue, Product, Operations, Finance, and so on.
The team is asked a bunch of questions that lead to uncovering what you need to know as the new team leader.
Here’s how it looks for a sales team, but it’s fairly easy to replace to almost any function.
How can we take sales to the next level?
Jobs and processes
Figure out what really could have impact
The structure of the sprint is built to uncover 4 things in the team:
- Figure out what level we are on today
- How is the future looking, and where we should innovate
- What aren’t we great at
- What processes and cultural things should we change
And at the end of each section, we’ll ask the team for their ideas to solve the issues. That leaves you with a backlog of ideas to pull from whenever you want to move forward.
If you want to go even deeper, get the team to evaluate all the ideas on 2 parameters:
1) How much effort to implement this idea?
2) What effect would this have if implemented?
Then you’ll get a map like this:
Now it’s easy to pick out the ideas to the challenges you’ll face. Choose x tasks with low effort and high impact to move the needle.
And because it’s the team’s own ideas, you already minimized resistance to change.
How to run it
The template is in the marketplace for Acadal, so it’s Plug’n’Play if you are a customer. If you want to run this outside Acadal, this is the approach:
1) Set up a meeting with your team, outlining the challenge: How can we take X to the next level? Tell them you really need their input and both good and bad.
2) Use post-its or alike to map out each question. Its important answers stay hidden until everyone has given theirs, so you don’t get biased answers.
3) Talk about the answers and what it means to you as a team. Make sure the alfa’s of the group don’t suppress the more quiet ones. Use authors of the post-its as the ones that speak first.
4) Build ideas upon each section, again with post-it notes. But don’t walk through all the ideas at the meeting. Instead, put them into a digital format and let everyone evaluate them afterward. That saves time and, again, removes bias from the process. Use Excel, Notion, or alike.
Why use Acadal for it
Acadal is built to make it easy and effective to involve your people. Here’s some of the things you get out of the box:
- It’s easier and faster for people to collaborate.
- It allows people to contribute in their own tempo.
- You can pick up critical information as input can be anonymous.
- You remove bias completely.
- It creates the idea matrix out of the box
- You know how much of the team is backing what ideas
- You get data on contribution level and how positive/negative people are