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The Oxford Group - A City & Guilds Group Business

Time to reset your team’s M.O.?

The Oxford Group

08 September 2022

September has an air of starting anew, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s the conditioning from our younger days when September meant going back to school, beckoning us to open up to new knowledge, friendships, and possibilities.

In the world of work, September in many ways marks the beginning of a new cycle. It’s the time to review what we’ve accomplished against the beginning-of-the-year aspirations and make course corrections where needed. It’s also the time when businesses start to look out to the future:

  • Where we’d like to be 12 months from now;
  • What technological and human capabilities do we need to remain relevant to clients;
  • What are the expectations of our internal and external stakeholders. 

These are some of the questions leaders worldwide have traditionally engaged with at this time of the year. This autumn, these somewhat routine strategic review questions seem to carry a sense of urgency and far-reaching implications for shifting your team’s modus operandi.

After more than two years of operating in a “wait-and-see” mode, our clients are demonstrating a greater resolve to take agency in shaping their post-pandemic, new normal. Virtual meetings, flexible working arrangements, employee well-being and DEI imperatives have become the non-negotiables of corporate life. Organisations are too aware that their structures, processes, governance, and management practices need updating to be better aligned with the new realities of work.

Many leaders we work with are using this auspicious period between the summer lull and end-of-the-year sprint to bring their teams together to reconnect, refocus and re-energise. This can be in the form of:

  • Team building off-site to foster interpersonal connections and cultivate a sense of shared identity;
  • Focus groups and interviews to draw out key learnings from a change initiative or to investigate the true causes of attrition; 
  • Team development and ‘best practice’ sharing days for international and geographically dispersed teams;
  • “Reboot” sessions to revisit the team’s purpose, develop hybrid working guidelines and co-create a team’s culture manifesto;
  • Cross-functional collaboration and knowledge-sharing sessions between interdependent business units;
  • Systemic team coaching sessions to tackle a deeper seated issue and take collective leadership capability to a new level;
  • Executive leadership team days on lessons from 2022, new leadership culture blueprint and strategy for 2023.

In a hybrid world, shared knowledge and bonds between teammates will need to be carefully nurtured. By seizing this unique moment when people are craving face-to-face interactions with co-workers, organisational and team leaders have an ideal opportunity to engage and empower their teammates. Co-creating a new working model, bringing clarity on changed priorities, individual responsibilities, and hierarchy of values can guide decision-making, risk-taking and leadership behaviours. By giving employees the remit to define their team’s modus operandi, leaders could gain an edge in the effort to attract, develop and retain the talent they need to create an adaptable and resilient post-pandemic organisation.

What are you seeing in your organisation?

Are your leaders ready to press the reset button on outdated corporate practices?

If you’d like to hear about the ways in which we are supporting our clients in doing just that, get in touch or click here to find out more about our transformational leadership work.