Bringing together a group of high-performing individuals does not automatically result in a high-performing team. The purpose of a Norming Offsite is to put in place the principles and practices that can help develop individuals into a high-performing team. It establishes processes and rhythms to make them successful in the service of their clients.
The word "norming" comes from the Tuckman model of team development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning.) The building blocks of a Norming Offsite come from the fields of organizational and leadership development, project management, SAFe/Agile, coaching, and management consulting. The agenda for a Norming offsite follows the flow of what's called "actualization," which is first, orienting to myself as an individual, second, orienting to those around me as my team, and third, orienting to the organization and ecosystem we are a part of.
Here's what a Norming offsite gets you:
- Understanding of individual personalities and how to bridge personality differences (through the Myers Briggs, Team Dimensions Profile, or Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Instrument),
- Empathy building among team members (through personal histories, visions, and values),
- Strengths and weaknesses against the technical competencies most important to the team's purpose (through a best athlete chart),
- Clarity of team purpose (through establishing a team vision, mission, and goals),
- Agreement on operating principles and behaviors (through core values),
- Establishing rhythms and scope of meetings and means of communication (through setting timing, tempo, and content for scrums, team meetings, project meetings, etc.),
- Agreement on the process to take on new tasks (through a decision model),
- Planning and setting expectations of work to be performed (through backlogs of work and setting aside the time in the week to work on them), and
- Building and improving interpersonal relationships between team members.
A small team of five or six can accomplish most of the activities above in a three-day offsite.
Design and lettering by Heather Martinez, @corpgraffitiart