4 Stages of the Team Growth Cycle

Lately I have spent a good bit of time thinking about growing teams. Admittedly I am drawn towards giving time and attention towards teams that want to grow. Keeping the status quo does not get me fired up, but being in the mix of a growing team is both challenging and exciting.

As I observe different teams I have begun to notice a cycle that I think all teams exist within. These thoughts are still raw – so I am inviting you to process new insights alongside me.

The starting place in the cycle is a New Dream. A new dream is a vision…it is an intent of what we see for the future. When a leader or a team is caught up by a new vision they begin to ask the question, “What should we do to fulfill this vision?”

New Dream Example: A member of our team had a vision to offer better care for guests at our weekend services.

Once a team has a dream, fulfilling the vision involves defining the New Territory. New Territory is the clearly defined actions and goals that make the dream a tangible reality. Once you know the new territory you want to take it is natural to ask, “How do we accomplish these goals?

New Territory Example: To fulfill this vision the team member planned for a Guest Experience room where guests could be welcomed after each service.

Inevitably an expanded vision with fresh goals will require a group of New Volunteers. New Volunteers are an added resource, as they bring able hands and energy to help goals become a reality. New volunteers change the team in a number of ways, so you must ask, “How are we now different?

New Volunteers Example: To staff this new room for guests we asked a number of people who have a passion for serving guests to commit to join this new team.

Fresh faces, perspective and energy on a team bring a lot to the table, the most important of which is New Momentum. New momentum is a turbo boost to your team and your leadership. With momentum you can go farther, and do it faster. Fresh momentum allows leaders to look forward and ask, “what could be?

New Momentum Example: With the Guest Experience room up and running we found there was added excitement on our volunteer teams leading up to the weekend.

When leaders are freed up by fresh momentum on their team they have space for a new dream. From the example I shared we now have momentum that has freed the team up to ask, “What else could we do to improve the experience?” The growth process never stops for a leader, we are always somewhere in this cycle.

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