Facilitator’s Guide: Disparate Teams


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On a project, often different organizations have different team maturity levels working together. For example, an Established Team may have worked together for some time (perhaps years) and will have developed a level of cohesion and knowledge of the tasks individual team members will undertake. Analogies might include a NASCAR pit crew, professional sports teams or a hospital operating room.

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Likewise, a New Team may have recently assembled to undertake a set of tasks, i.e., project subcontractors, high turnover or M&A.  In other words, a team that is not used to working together or has limited history and may even be a collection of strangers.  Analogies include a HACKATON, volunteer groups or disaster response.


Moreover, the Maturity Model construct dictates that any collaborative effort is only as mature as the level of the least mature member.


For this scenario, an established ‘actual’ team will be paired to collaborate with an ‘ad hoc’ group without specific track record working together. Key metrics will include:


  • The final negotiation level comparing the value derived by each team
  • Post-game satisfaction level of each team


For this scenario each team will consist of diverse members(no more than five). The goal is to complete a set of work tasks (project) in accordance with good business practices,company policy et. al., with the expectation that subsequent project phases depend on the success of Phase I


Metrics for each team are:


  • Performance
  • Cost
  • Trust


The intent of the team composition and game scenario is to engage the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) process. This is not specifically stated, but implicitly integrated into the Pre-Game and Post-Game questionnaire as well as the team member selection and Negotiation (Game) process.




The Established Team is composed of individuals who have been with the acquiring firm and have worked together for some time. They understand how the organization works,its politics and know how to get things done within that framework.


The New Team is composed of individuals from the acquired company. They have not worked together much and are less familiar with the processes of the parent firm they are now employed by. However, they are equally competent and have a solid understanding of Generally Accepted Business Practices.


The task is to develop the implementation process to assimilate the new organization as rapidly, inexpensively and with the least disruption. Uncertainty takes the form of possible layoffs as well as new competitors for promotion, market response, etc.


The transition team has worked together through several mergers and know each other and the company very well. They consider themselves pros.The team assembled by the new subsidiary has no experience in this process. A former start-up, their culture is free wheeling with few processes in place. This is all new them.


Both teams have met briefly and have formed opinions about the other team, the process and specific individuals. Both recognize that the corporate cultural difference might be significant; however, all agree that management has tasked both with making the transition as smooth and rapid as possible.


Some possible personal friction may exist.


The Goal of the Game is to arrive at an Implementable Strategy for the Integration of the new organization into the parent firm.





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