Team Case Study: UNM Health

Overview


On The Edge worked with an executive leadership team from University of New Mexico (UNM) Health to seamlessly integrate several new positions onto the team and accelerate the deepening of relationships between the existing team members. On The Edge’s Team Development program created a forum for the group to learn how to work more effectively with
all of the diverse personalities on the team.


The leadership team benefited from this program in large part because they had not previously built strong connections. In reality, the root of this disconnect stemmed from a lack of quality time spent together and divisions between isolated business unit functions and locations. All in all, the work that On The Edge did with this team helped them come together quickly so that they could more powerfully and collaboratively navigate the significant changes and challenges affecting their industry.


What was UNM Health Medical Group’s Team Development opportunity?


Context


In 2019, UNM Health placed several new leaders onto an executive leadership team. These new leaders were joining an existing team in need of foundational relationship building. This need arose from a general lack of awareness and understanding of the diverse personalities on the team, as well as a siloed organizational structure. Additionally, UNM Health had recently put in place a new strategy and focus that this team would need to adapt quickly to and operate effectively within.


Opportunity


UNM Health saw the opportunity to accelerate relationship building and continue developing a strong, supportive, and high-performing team and organizational culture in the midst of this leadership transition and significant changes to their business.


Our Involvement


UNM Health brought in On The Edge to facilitate a Team Development program focused on aligning this newly assembled executive leadership team as part of the organization's annual leadership retreat. The objectives of this Team Development program were to get the team to: 1) work more effectively together, 2) build leadership and team skills, and 3) utilize collaboration to increase team cohesiveness and camaraderie.


What was the process to address this opportunity?

 

Discovery


On The Edge began the process of working with the executive leadership team from UNM Health by conducting one-on-one discovery interviews with key stakeholders to identify potential opportunities and challenges within the executive leadership team and the overall organization. Additionally, our staff sent confidential surveys to all members of the team to create a clear snapshot of the current organizational culture and constraints. This discovery process provided both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the current team status and highlighted which group dynamics were working and which ones were not.


Design


Following discovery, On The Edge developed a custom-designed 1-day Team Development program that would accomplish the team's objectives and support the executive leadership team in strengthening relationships, deepening trust, and building a more productive team culture*. At this point, it was time to "get on the court" and bring the team together for a 1-day in-person Team Development program.

 

Delivery


On The Edge initiated the 1-day Team Development program by presenting models of high performing teams and leadership. To begin, our presentation illuminated what optimal teamwork looks like and allowed the leadership team to identify which models the team would most like to adopt and implement moving forward. From this point, facilitators focused on addressing some of the key issues and challenges that were preventing the team from achieving the ideal outcomes shared in the high performing team and leadership models.


With a newfound and broadened understanding of high performing team and leadership models, we introduced methodologies that helped the group understand how to work more effectively with different work and leadership styles. These methodologies illuminated the underlying strengths and liabilities contained within the leadership team, and when experienced in a group setting served to unify and enable a more supportive and high-performing team dynamic.

 

Concepts in Practice


To practice and gain efficacy in these models and methodologies, On The Edge guided the group through hands-on activities that familiarized team members at a deeper level to gain awareness of how different leadership styles, personalities, and ways of working together can positively impact overall team cohesiveness and effectiveness. Since these activities were designed to simulate relevant business challenges the leadership team was facing in their organization, participants learned and practiced new concepts and skills that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for in the constant stream of day-to-day responsibilities.


The added benefit of these engaging, experiential activities is that they illuminated team members in a different light and showcased their unseen strengths, which established relationships and trust based on shared experiences and understanding. Moreover, this program put hierarchy and position on the org chart aside, which allowed everyone to contribute equally so some members of the leadership team could step up while higher level leaders let go of control and stepped back. This, in turn, helped the group identify and utilize the talent and contributions on their team at all levels.


What was the outcome of this process?


Team Transformation


As a result of working with On The Edge, this executive leadership team from UNM Health underwent a significant transformation in leadership effectiveness, team skills, and workplace collaboration in high-stakes business situations. The group not only learned about team and leadership styles, but unlocked breakthroughs in how these styles could translate to greater transformation in their teamwork, collaboration, and productivity through guided and relevant action-oriented activities.


This leadership team now had the tools to tap into everybody’s full capabilities. This lead to increased focus and efficacy when working with the diverse talents, strengths, and abilities on the team. As a result, the team and the overall organization became more productive and performed at a higher level through the creation of a culture that brought out the best in everybody. After the program many team members reported they felt like the leadership team’s focus had shifted. In essence, they felt more compelled and encouraged to do and
be their best.


Leadership Breakthroughs


Consequently, not only did the leadership team experience breakthroughs in collaboration and morale, but they also saw an improvement in the overall business performance and results. In time the entire organizational culture and ways of working together experienced transformation at the direction of this newly focused team.


Particularly, it created a breakthrough in how leadership showed up and the positive net impact that they made on the organization by bringing out the best in everyone. In short, this team came to embody the high performing leadership models that they had aspired to.


How did On The Edge ensure lasting success with UNM Health Medical Group?


On The Edge provided several follow-up processes and structures along with ongoing practical consulting and coaching to support the leadership team in integrating and applying the key learnings from the Team Development program.


Team Covenant


The first successful follow-up process was the co-creation of a team covenant which outlined the key elements and values of team culture that would support the leadership team in continuing to create powerful team dynamics. This team covenant clarified the expectations of how leaders and team members would show up for each other on a daily basis.


The team covenant was utilized regularly to rate overall leadership and team member performance based on established expectations. This structured feedback highlighted opportunities for further team and leadership development.


The team covenant created accountability in moving towards a positive, engaging culture where all team members are treated well. This was accomplished by identifying values and actions that would actively contribute to this new high-performing work environment. To assess the leadership team's performance, leaders were regularly evaluated against these values and actions.


Follow-up Assessment


The second process was a follow-up assessment. This assessment surveyed the impact of the program by acknowledging team growth and success. Effective follow-up and coaching were essential to ensure that this leadership team continued to improve. These follow-up processes demonstrate our investment in the long-term success of our partners long after the program has concluded. Our work with UNM Health was no different.**

 

Footnote:


*
Because teams often have busy schedules, our Team Development program has been streamlined to be delivered as a standalone 1-day program. This 1-day program will achieve positive and lasting impacts as a standalone experience. However, we believe the more time a team and leaders have to engage with these concepts the better. We have found that a 2-day program delivery allows for more time to understand and practice the program concepts. This leads to a more full integration into the organizational structure.


**Ongoing follow-up processes best support effective adoption of high-performing team concepts and models. While we have covered two follow-up processes here, there are many more options available upon request. Get in touch today to see what would be best for you and your team.