Leaders of change must be clear about their personal vision and values in order to inspire others to commit. By being familiar with your own vision and values, you are more able to orchestrate a conversation about these kinds of issues with your team. By revealing your own vision and values, the team learns to trust you, their leader. You will also know your team better by sharing your responses.
Mental models are the assumptions and beliefs embedded in our language, held by individuals and groups, which determine what we see and explain how things work. Although mental models may be unconscious, they influence our speech, decisions, and actions. Identifying the mental model used by a team can help its members choose its language, in order to operate in a more open and integrated way.
Building a shared vision as a team can act as a conduit for shared meaning. Creating shared meaning allows people to believe they are part of a common entity, that they are participating in a community, and that they have the power to determine their destiny. By creating a shared vision they decide what is important and why, and just by clarifying they propel themselves into the future of the image they hold.
Your experience of facilitating a team development learning session using personal mastery, mental models, or shared vision will give you first-hand knowledge of facilitation skills, the dynamics of change, and the importance of participation and vision in managing change.
This assessment is based upon the first of a pair of team development sessions that you will facilitate with a real-world group of about five individuals. For each session, conduct an exercise based on one of Peter Senge’s five disciplines for team development.
Selecting the Team
Identify, contact, and engage a real-life group or team that you can work with in two sessions, to conduct two team development exercises. Select a problem or issue within the group that the team can work on, using the exercise you have chosen. The goal of each session is to bring team perspectives to this problem or issue, rather than to solve the specific identified problem.
Ideally, your team should consist of individuals from your workplace, or with whom you have a professional relationship. If this is difficult to arrange, there is flexibility as to both group composition and mode of communication. You can simulate an organizational team with members drawn from a social organization to which you belong; a church, community, or civic group; a private club; or a group of personal friends, acquaintances, neighbors, or even family members. As part of your final assessment, you will make hypothetical recommendations to a specific audience, based on the results of your two sessions. Ideally, this audience would be the larger organization in which the team functions, but it could also be to the session team itself, members of an educational symposium, or another relevant group.
If necessary, different team members may attend each meeting. Moreover, team members do not have to reside in the same town. The meetings may be held virtually (for example, by phone, e-mail, or Web conference).
The size of your team should (preferably) be about five people, including you. It can be larger, although more than 10 can make facilitating the exercise challenging. It can be smaller, but should not be less than three people, with you included. A very small group can present facilitation challenges, in terms of generating participation and a range of views.
Selecting the Exercise
In each team change management session, you will conduct an exercise based on one of the concepts and tools from Peter Senge’s five disciplines. Choose the disciplines your team will focus on from the following options:
For your first session, lead your group through a team exercise based on the personal mastery discipline, the mental models discipline, or the shared visions discipline.
For your second session, lead your group through a team exercise based on the team learning discipline or the systems thinking discipline.
Use your judgment in choosing each exercise, based on the suitability of its goals to the nature of the team.
Recruiting the Team
When recruiting your team for each session, introduce yourself (if necessary). Briefly explain the nature of your task, the time commitment required (two one-hour sessions), and that you will be reporting your results on the experience. Indicate that you will protect all team members’ personal information and their identities. (You may also want to repeat this information at the start of each session.) In your explanation of the task, include a brief overview of both sessions. Schedule each session to last at least an hour.
Submit your first team exercise plan and post-session summary based on your completed team session.
Plan your first team exercise and write a team development plan for your first session. Your exercise for this session should be based on one of the following three disciplines identified by Senge:
Facilitate the first team development session, addressing the following:
Define change management and the first three disciplines: personal mastery, mental models, and shared vision.
Explain the learning discipline you have chosen and why it is important.
Explain how you will use the organizational team development material (the exercise) during the session.
Briefly introduce the problem or issue the team will work through, using the exercise.
While conducting the exercise, take copious notes. Record the session, if possible.
Write a post-session summary based on the completed experience. Include the following in your assessment:
Define change management and change management principles.
Explain the three learning disciplines that you examined for this assessment: personal mastery, mental models, and shared vision.
Describe the organization of the team you have selected for your assessment and identify the sector of the organization (non-profit, government, business, or industry). If you will not be working with employees of an organization, please indicate the nature of your group.
Team exercise plan:
Outline the schedule for your first team development session. Include the job titles or roles of the team members participating in the session. List the scheduled meeting date and time.
Describe the problem or issue you chose as the intended purpose for your team development session.
Identify the learning discipline that you chose to focus on for your team exercise. Explain the process used to select that learning discipline, the rationale for its selection, and the team development exercise that you used with your team.
Describe your team development experience in a narrative format.
Explain the successful and unsuccessful aspects of the team development exercise.
Explain the lessons learned for team facilitation, including both planned and unplanned journeys that resulted.
Explain the lessons learned for your chosen discipline, and its potential for helping a group examine itself, choose new direction, and commit to that direction.
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