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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

#13questions for your senior leadership team

In the 1st half of 2012 Azusa Pacific University and Leadership Network used a team assessment tool with nearly 600 people representing leadership teams at 145 churches. The results were written up in a report "Searching for Strong Senior Leadership Teams"
By Ryan Hartwig, Ph.D., and Warren Bird, Ph.D.  So a big ht to them as the remainder of this post draws on what that report found.

Of the churches surveyed the majority had average weekend attendance below 500, three quarters were in suburban locations, most were growing and most were staff or pastor led. 

The tool was one developed by Harvard researchers and Hay Group consultants (the same ones who wrote the Harvard Business School book Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great). The tool assesses 5 conditions that promote team performance 

1. Being a real team rather than in name only 
2. A clear, compelling, and consequential direction for the team’s work. 
3. An enabling team structure with well-designed team tasks, norms, and composition. 
4. An organizational context that offers necessary reward, information, material, and educational resources. 
5. Access to expert internal or external coaching in teamwork. 

Based on the findings in the report I’ve constructed the 13 questions that are listed below as something you might want to use (possibly anonymous returns?) with your senior leadership team 

I suggest that in the questionnaire you replace the phrase “the team” with the name you use for your church’s senior leadership team. You can then choose to collate the answers and bring them together for discussion at one of your team meetings. This might be a good way to start a conversation on your teams effectiveness.

Getting a copy of the report using the link at the start of this post will help you understand the reasoning behind these questions.

Q1) What is the specific unique purpose of the team? 
Q2) How is that purpose distinctive from the church’s mission or the purpose of other teams in the church? 
Q3) How clear is that purpose and how challenging is it? 
Q4) Are at least 50% of your church wide decisions made by the team? 
Q5) How is the team structured to help it make excellent church wide decisions? 
Q6) What are the priorities of the team? 
Q7) How much of the teams time is spent on its priorities? 
Q8) How do the members of the team get to know each other informally? 
Q9) What does the team do to spend time on team building and coaching? 
Q10) How have the members of the team agreed the team goals, team member roles and norms and productive meeting structures and practices? 
Q11) What communication, problem solving, decision making, idea generating and mutual accountability procedures does the team use? 
Q12) How often does the team discuss resourcing and workload and power dynamic issues? 
Q13) Who is in the team?

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