Managing a Newly Restructured Team
by Marc DeCarli
A while back my team was restructured with the goal of elevating our status within the organization and to better serve its needs. Before the restructure we were a team of trainers; after it, we were a group of people with different responsibilities and a whole new mission. We previously handled onboarding and ongoing development for our sales organization, and functioned as instructional and training designers, product and sales processes SMEs, coaches, sales support, you name it.
The makeup of the team looks very different now. We still have one or two contributor roles, and most of the team members are Program Managers; Training and Development (me), Content and Assets, and Communications and Events. While each of our responsibilities is different, our mission as a Sales Enablement team is to be the conduit and catalyst to enable our sales organization to get sales done. If it sounds altruistic, it is. What mission statement isn't?
With our mission statement as our guide, our challenge was to figure out how we stayed within the guard rails of program management and fulfill our mission. Since we added two new team members, we decided to do a team building workshop. We waited long enough so that the new team members had a lay of the land, but not too long where it would lose its effectiveness.
We took a full-day away for team building and strategic planning. There were many excellent take-aways from that day. For starters, we walked away with a better understanding of each other’s strengths, experiences, and insight into how we think, solve problems, etc. Second, we established our bodies of work by program (i.e., training and development, content and assets, etc.). Not only did we identify the work, we clarified, prioritized, debated and then reprioritized all of it. In the end, we walked away with a clear and more prioritized body of work that we could start actioning right away. One of the most enlightening take-aways from that activity was seeing how each person’s role played a part in very different projects.
To continue the momentum, it is critical that we continue to meet as a team. We established a three-tiers meeting structure. A formal team meeting every other week, a 15-20 minute huddle twice a week, and weekly one-on-ones. In our formal team meetings every other week, we share updates and discuss our top priority projects, regardless if they're in progress or still in planning. At our twice a week huddle, we meet informally for 15-20 minutes to update each other on what we're working on that week, ask questions to team members, and uncover barriers. And, for our once a week one-on-ones, the goal is primarily for the team member to talk through challenges, seek advice or coaching, get direction, feedback, really anything. Sometimes, this entails discussing things that were also discussed in the team meeting, but it allows the team member to gain more guidance and feedback on possible solutions that were discussed.
For us, it was important to “own” the restructure. In order to be successful, we had to be mission-driven and take time to pattern and prioritize our work around that mission. By making sure we are all working toward the same goal and checking-in with each other often, we’ve been able to actualize our mission while also moving closer together as a team.
Marc is an engaging talent development professional with wide-ranging experience in adult learning, facilitation, leadership, technology, and training development. He has 15+ years of experience developing and delivering training content to new and experienced employees, coaching, and leading teams in challenging and dynamic organizations.
He currently works at Renaissance, a K-12 educational technology company, as the Program Manager, Training and Development for their sales organization. Marc holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from Edgewood College. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young boys, being outdoors, dabbling in photography, playing acoustic guitar, reading non-fiction, using technology, and watching sports.