“When you see her, tell her, this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated any more.” – an almost verbatim quote from an otherwise cool team lead, let’s call her Pi, when a team mate, let’s call her Beta, did not show up for the daily stand up (a conference call), two days in a row and without notice. Pi was justifiably upset at this indiscretion. She was trying to instill some discipline in a completely distributed team. And Beta was pouring cold water on that effort. But is this the best way to make the team conscious of the new world order? Does threating a member of the team at her (or, his) absence do any good to the team morale?
Let the Team, as a collective, be responsible for their behavior and let them decide what they want to do to one of their team mates who’s fails to uphold the standard. We are all adults here :). At least on paper. How different would it be if Pi asks “Okay, this is the second day we are missing Beta. First, I need a volunteer to make sure she’s alive and well. Next, as a team, what do you think we should do to someone who ditches us like this without notice in future?” Take it to the team to create their own high mark and see what happens.
In the Agile Mindset workshop that my mentor used to teach, he would start the class by setting some ground rules of behavior and let the class, as a team, come up with the rules. The day-long class had hourly 10 minute breaks. And, one of the “rules” was to figure out what a team member would do for being late coming in after the break. The “punishments” varied from push-ups to donating money to charity to singing out loud. And it worked every time. Well, almost every time. I saw it fail only once and the culprit was made to sing and the class paid the price together, if you know what I mean 🙂
What do you do to hold your team accountable to itself?