From MARS to EARTH
The Journey to Highly Effective Teams
How much money would it take to persuade you to spend 520 days in a windowless isolation chamber with five strangers?
n 3 June 2010 six members of the Mars500 project of the European Space Agency (ESA) began their 18-month “journey to Mars”. This is already the second experiment in which experts are investigating the effects of the real Mars expedition. The mission, one of the greatest undertakings in the history of humankind, represents an enormous professional challenge as well as a huge risk. There is no room for error. In our television culture of today, steeped in reality shows, we can see what sustained confinement can do to the members of a group. The lives of young people living in luxury villas are often fraught with irresolvable conflicts as early as in the first week. Try to imagine what life would be like for those living without even the basic luxuries, on preserved foods, in a 550m3 living space for 520 days. Anyone who boards cannot leave until “landing”. The groups of reality-show contestants, in terms of their group dynamic, the conflicts
and forms of cooperation function just the same as those made up of engineering professionals or as a team of managers working together in an organization. The greatest challenge of the Mars mission is no longer the technological, but the human aspect. How can several people be capable of working together efficiently and managing the conflicts that inevitably arise while carrying out their professional tasks? The Mars500 program uses only one tool for managing conflicts, maintaining coope ration, and improving the effectiveness of communication within the group: Team Sociomapping
The participants in the experiment regularly assess the communication within the group, the relationship between its members, and the levels of these that they regard as ideal, using this tool. The results are evaluated using extremely sophisti cated software, which draws up the group’s unique ‘sociomaps’ based on the simultaneous evaluation of numerous criteria. In this way, it presents both the current and the ideal situations, and naturally the group dynamic as well. The results are processed through the holding of structured coaching discussions – directed from the control centre – and actions are defined with the aim of improving the group’s collaboration and communication, and for resolving any internal problems.
What works on Mars also works down here on Earth
TEAM Sociomapping has been performing well in the Mars experiments. Similarly positive results were achieved during the usage at over a hundred successful local and multinational corporationS
What is TEAM Sociomapping?
When and Why use Team Sociomapping?
eam Sociomapping is a unique and cutting-edge tool for developing and assessing communication, cooperation, cohesion and collaboration within working teams. It is exceedingly suitable to analyze the current and optimal relationships within top managerial teams, or in other working teams, and to present the results along multiple aspects. The results in return provide bases for the creation of a comprehensive development program.
When in doubt about what can improve the efficiency of workrelated communication, Sociomapping focuses on the critical success factors of cooperation and gives a broader perspective
Most common areas for use: Executive team development Internal problems with cooperation After integration or merger Before and after personnel changes Decision making on succession planning Key project teams Remote working teams
When team members are involved in a project, which must not fail due to communication dysfunctions: the method provides involvement and buy-in for all team members.
Sociomapping has developed beyond traditional sociometric methods due to its high level of mathematical accuracy, dynamic structure, engaging visual 3D design, easy interpretation and its transferability into next-day actions.
Meggie John Charles
When the leader, being too involved in day-to-day matters, cannot see the forest for the trees, it gives him/her specific recommen dations on how to improve the teamwork and provides evidence to make the right decisions.
When you need to view the subjective perspectives in an overall objective landscape, Sociomapping enables the discussion of difficult topics during workshops. When you need to track changes in time – it is able to display development in the team; it helps to understand what is happening. Simply: When your team just cannot afford to fail!
Modules of the TEAM sociomapping analysis Based on the stages of team formation or special issues to the team, customdesigns are available to tailor the method to the relevant areas; however, there are standard designs for most frequent team issues:
A Sociomapping analysis of the communication network focused on comparing the desired and optimal level of communication, measurement of effectiveness and identification of develop ment spots in the communication network. The main goal is to analyze communication relationships, to point out the critical points to the team and to propose suitable remedies.
A Sociomapping analysis of flows of work, briefs, data and output. This type of analysis suits teams not operating to the optimal level and in which the cooperation channels which reduce team effectiveness must be identified. An action plan is an output from this analysis, which helps in restoring the full effectiveness of the team.
A Sociomapping analysis which answers the question of whether the team’s decision making of is effective. It provides concrete recommen dations of how to share the decision.
Sociomapping outputs Team Report: includes a basic analysis of communication and cooperation in the team. Set of Sociomaps: interactive and enabling to display various details (such as subgroups, significant relationships, etc.) Individual Reports: coaching for individual team members; used for personal development.
The Sociomapping method has been developed by the QED Group. Develor is the exclusive partner of QED Group in Central and Eastern Europe.
Repeating the same sociomapping design, identification of lasting problems, change recommendation
Consultation for team manager
Presentation of results for team manager, defining optimal situation within the team
Presentation of sociomaps, feedback facilitation, defining action plans for individuals and the team
Confirmation of change
Team workshop focused on confirmation of change and identification of other possible improvement
Design and data collection
Defining areas of diagnostics with team manager, on-line data collection
Utilization of Results and designing your future THE SOCIOMAPPING WORKSHOP & THE COACHING PROCESS The Sociomapping analysis results are presented to the team leader who is also consulted in terms of the next steps. Consequently, an intervention in the team shaped as a sociomapping workshop is carried out; it concentrates on following areas: Modelling of currently analyzed area and its optimization. Capturing the “narrow spots” of team cooperation; agreement on improvement areas
Creating a new effective “map” which would represent the shift in quality of the relationships between group members.
Joint development of proposals to improve current situation and concrete possibilities of transforming these proposals into practice.
Mutual and subgroup feedback based on the results. Analysing individual reports and creating individual and team action plans.
The entire workshop is designed in a way which enables the participants to get to know each others’ needs and priorities through the activities and which supports further improving of the team functioning.
Target groups of TEAM Sociomapping & references Top Management Teams
Lubor Zalman, CEO Raiffeisen Bank
Jirí Pavlícek, CEO, Johnson & Johnson
Tomás Pleskac, Vice-Chairman, CEZ Group
“I used Sociomapping with my Management Board. I received a very precise and telling overview of the communication gaps among the team members including myself. My team liked the results enormously and it helped us not only to break ice and go deeper at the very beginning of the meeting but the team members started to plan how they would improve their communication on the spot. I can recommend the Sociomapping to any team that wants to improve their communication. It is easy to use, easy to understand and it is fun!”
“I consider Sociomapping to be a useful and, at the same time, a simple tool for improving the internal communication. While requiring relatively little time, its outputs provide us with accurate visualization of the quality and effectiveness of mutual communication amongst the team members, as well as with a perfect picture of the envisaged change.”
“Foreign acquisitions are strategic investments for our company. It is therefore important that the people responsible for this area form a good team. Relatively small isolated teams are exposed to extreme pressures in a foreign environment. Such difficult conditions can result in communication failures and misunderstandings, which could have serious consequences. We therefore strive to identify the relevant signals in time by using the Sociomapping method and to continuously support our teams for them to develop and improve their mutual communication.”
Entire Organizations – up to 30 People
Václav Novotný, CEO, MSD
Zsolt Pozvai, CEO, Develor International
“Team Sociomapping was very valuable team exercise during our merger with another company. The newly created management team really appreciated the process and as a result significantly improved the interaction and cooperation.”
“I do believe services and tools only which have proved for ourselves first. We walked the talk with the Sociomapping as well. High expectations at the beginning, real commitment during the process, full satisfatction as the result. Team Sociomapping had a significant role to make our team more efficient and successful.”
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Develor is the exclusive representative of the Team Sociomapping method in Central and Eastern Europe