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TAP Training Associates Pacific is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. with offices and a learning center on the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory learning events, customized courses, and training materials (manuals, guides, procedures, handbooks) in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.

LEAP Team Building and Team Planning

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TAP believes strongly—and our experience supports our belief—that  projects are most successful when the people responsible for implementation are involved in developing the plan—whether they are working with the homeless, working to eliminate sources of pollution in a stream, or working as a team responsible for developing and marketing software. LEAP (Life Experience Action Planning) is a planning process designed for and successfully used with individuals, organizations and teams in transition.  Any organizational transition (a change in strategy, structure, or shift in personnel) affects team direction, equilibrium, productivity and focus.  Roles and responsibilities become confused.  It is under these circumstances that team building and team planning can be most beneficial.  In a LEAP workshop, the members of a team come together to share common objectives, develop a mutual understanding of what is required to achieve them, and then re-organize roles and responsibilities accordingly.

 

The difference between a LEAP Team Building and Team Planning event and most other team building workshops is that the process focuses on both the team and the individual within the team—as equally important.  Individual actualization within the team is the underlying focus.  The process acknowledges the fact that it is the individuals doing the work whose skills and interests move the work forward, and they, essentially, need to be actualized (in Maslow’s sense of the term) in the workplace.  Therefore the LEAP process creates a session-by-session, LEAP-Step-by-LEAP-Step “fugue” in which the focus is on the individual and then on the team, and then back and forth again.  In fact, the planning process begins with the identification of personal achievements and then moves to the team’s.  After achievements, individuals assesses their current situation and desired future condition at the workplace.  They then assess the present and desired future situation of the team and then identify problems and issues that both they and the team must address to move from the present to the future.  They then set individual and team workplace goals and objectives.

 

 

 

 

Before a team building and team planning event, a thorough Team Needs Assessment (TNA) is conducted by the facilitators no more than two weeks before the scheduled training.    Ideally, all team members as well as key stakeholders and key beneficiaries are interviewed.  Issues that arise can then be integrated into the training design. An ideal LEAP Team Building and Team Planning workshop is three days long, begins on the evening before the first full day, is held off site, and involves all the members of team, key support staff and the team’s chief.

 

  

 

While an effective workshop weaves laughter and fun into the process, it must be said that the operative element of a workshop is work.  Developing a plan that may serve as the guide for the team’s actions for the next six months to five years requires those involved in the planning to work hard and with enthusiasm.   They create, discuss and visualize ideas in an experience that gives them an opportunity to plan the team’s future and create their own personal plan within the context of the organization’s mission.  The group proceeds through the LEAP Steps for themselves and for the team, participates in team building exercises, and spends informal time socializing.

 

 

In addition, the design provides space and time for in-depth plenary conversations about issues that arise—such as importance of sharing and trust and respect, about each person’s and the team’s purpose, and about enhancing awareness of the team’s contribution to the organization.  The team proceeds through the ten LEAP Steps using individual handbooks and charts to capture, visualize and organize ideas.  These ideas are presented, challenged, modified, agreed and documented.  Team building experiences are also integrated into the agenda.  These include: team coordination, communication, leadership, and trust-building exercises. 

 

 

 

Objectives of the Team Building and Team Planning Process—Team and Personal

 

 

By the end of the workshop the team can expect to have arrived at:

 

  • Mutual agreement on strategies for achieving team goals;

  • Mutual understanding of individual and team immediate next steps vis a vis the team’s objectives and interactions with partners; and

  • Mutual understanding of individual team member roles and responsibilities;

    In addition, individual team members can expect to have:

 

  • Clarified their own personal direction and course of action;

  • Outlined some future steps they might take in the context of the team’s direction; and

  • Increased their motivated to move forward. 

     

    In Summary

    We believe that a LEAP Team Building and Team Planning Workshop / Retreat is a valuable experience for any team.  Some participants in a recent organizational LEAP expressed this in their evaluations.

 

  • It gives us the energy to pursue our goal and clarity in our roles and situation.”

  • “Very intense days with a lot of added value for the team.”

  • “It becomes clear what the priorities are.”

  • “Great to work on a very rational and structured basis.” 

 

 

 

By the close of the workshop, among other outputs, the group has completed a (1) comprehensive objective tree, (2) a project planning matrix which, in addition to objectives, provides the elements for project monitoring; (3) immediate action steps and (4) an in-depth stakeholder analysis. Our sample, generic 3-day schedule follows below. A power point presentation on organizational LEAPs is attached.

 

 

 

Generic three-day workshop LEAP Teambuilding and Team Planning Schedule

 

 

 

Travel & Start-up

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

 

Energizer

Opening

Step #2 Picturing the Situation

(Individual & Team)

Step  #i-3 Facing My Facts and Problems

Step #i-4 Developing My Objectives

Opening

Step #i-7 Identifying My Personal and Professional Partners

Step #t-3 Facing Team Facts and Problems

Step #t-4 Developing Team Objectives

 

Opening

Team Step #t- 7

Identifying The Team’s  Project Stakeholders

Step #t-8:Team Planning Matrix

Review and Consensus on Team Project Plan

 

 

Lunch and Gallery Walk

Lunch

Lunch

Travel & Arrival

Registration and Check in

5:00

Confidentiality

Expectations, Introductions

LEAP Overview

Step #1 Appreciating Achievements

Little Theater

Coordination Exercise

Step #i-5 Making Choices

Completing and Sharing My Personal Objective Tree

Step #i-6

Tracking My Tasks

Sharing

A “Formula” for Effective Teamwork Assessment

“How are we Doing?”

Summary and Closure

Team Building and Trust

Step #t-5 Making Choices

 Objective Tree

Step #t-6 Tracking Tasks

Presentation and Discussion

The Resource Game

Summary and Closure

Teambuilding Exercise

Continue Stop Start

Step #t-9 First Things First--Reentry

Step #i-9

My Top Five

Individual Re-entry Planning

Step #10 Staying Connected

Evaluation and Closure

 

 

Dinner / Socializing

 

Dinner and Socializing

 

Dinner and Socializing

 

Departure

i = Individual planning step and  t = team planning step

 

 

 

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TAP (Training Associates Pacific, LLC) is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. in Washington State. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory live- and on-line learning events, customized courses, and training materials in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.