Stages of Team Development

The stages of team development are already well-described in various places and so going into great detail here would serve little purpose. I will, however, provide a brief overview since I think more leaders would benefit from being aware of these stages and because I’d like to use these terms in future posts.


New teams travel through four stages of team development before reaching high levels of performance. The different makeup of each team means that no two teams progress through these stages at the same rate (or with the same result). There’s no guarantee that progress will always be forward: it is possible for teams to regress back to an earlier stage due to some conflict or upset in some balance. And some teams may never reach a state of high performance.

Each stage must be passed through before tackling the next. Some teams will be able to spend less time in some of the stages, but it’s not possible to just jump to the end and skip the beginning stages.
Read more of this post


Getting over the hump

Getting Over the Hump

Getting Over the Hump (apologies to Jessica at

I had lunch with a colleague this past week and the subject of long, large-effort projects came up. Projects with a big “hump” keeping you from finishing easily and quickly. (see graph)

He manages a small team of folks who are all pulling toward the same goal. He articulated where he was in relation to the goal and what was needed to get there.

Read more of this post

True Top-Down Org Charts

Org Chart (true top-down)

A true top-down Organization Chart

The traditional top-down org chart has become so standard in today’s corporate America that the first time I posted my alternate version for our team, very few people understood it.

Let me describe it for a moment.
Read more of this post