License to Thrive: Creating More Cohesive Teams at DOL
Do your team members gossip or hold grudges? Shut down or overpower one other when debating ideas? Nod and smile during meetings but then fail to follow up on commitments? Those are symptoms of a team that doesn’t have a solid foundation of trust and can’t achieve optimal results. In the past three years, the Department of Licensing (DOL) has increased its commitment to developing leadership teams. This year, workshops based on Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team provided hands-on tools and team-developed action plans to guide employees through difficult change transformation as well as everyday operational challenges. Team discussions dug into issues such as letting go of grudges, understanding what behaviors during conflict are unacceptable to some members, why commitments don’t always stick and how to make sure people honor their commitments without involving the boss. After the Office of Performance and Accountability engaged in cascading workshops to develop concrete action plans for its teams, the Executive Leadership Team employed the “five behaviors” model for its annual retreat. As the training cascades throughout the rest of the organization, those more cohesive team behaviors increase employee engagement and unlock further efficiencies in operations. The five behaviors of a cohesive team are key to the continual maturation of DOL’s Lean efforts and continuous improvement culture.
Mr. Frederick L. Wade is Director of Performance and Accountability (OPA) for the Washington State Department of Licensing. His responsibilities include leading the agency’s Lean and Continuous Improvement, Enterprise Change Management, Strategic Planning and Performance, Research and Analysis, and Internal Audit programs. Mr. Wade is a proud U.S. Air Force veteran of 30 years. He has extensive operational and educational leadership and management experience in the healthcare industry and state and federal government. He is a Lean-Six Sigma Certified Black Belt and an Accredited Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Facilitator. Mr. Wade holds a post-graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership-Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration Degree-Norwich University, and a Master of Science in Human Relations Degree-University of Oklahoma.