Piloting with the HETEL team members – Team ownership

September 2018, Spain - The pilot phase of the QUAL4T2 project started in June 2017 with five different teams. One of the teams involved was HETEL team of International Coordinators. HETEL is an association of 23 VET schools in the Basque Country that work together strategically on common issues such as Internationalisation, Dual system training, Innovation… Teams in each area meet regularly at HETEL headquarters but team members from the different schools bring their individual schools’ needs and interests with them.
When they reflected on the results of the zero questionnaires, the team realized they were not very clear about the position they held as international team members in the HETEL team and how this differed from their position as international coordinators in their own schools. By using Tool 3, the Lighthouse, the team reflected on their desired role within the vision and mission of the association (what light they wished to shine), what they needed to be able to do so and how they could proceed within their constraints and given their resources. They were then ready to work on the team’s own vision and mission statement and on their team year plan.
The HETEL team of international coordinators have greatly increased their feeling of ownership of their team plan. Now they are aware of their own responsibility within the team and of their role as both international coordinator in their own schools and in HETEL association. One of the most concrete outcomes of the work being done so far is that the team members have asked for training regarding the KA2 program.
Lessons learnt / Observations

  • Inviting teams to establish why they exist and what they want to be known for engages team members and their energy. Visual metaphors like the Lighthouse Model (Tool 3) or a Risk analysis (Tool 11) inspires and engages a team at a different level and creates a sense of completion and satisfaction. Quality and action planning and revision, evaluation etc. doesn’t have to be dry and drawn out to be effective.Establishing vision and goals is especially useful for newly formed teams but equally inspiring for any team needing to reclaim their WHY (focus) or change the intensity of their light (actions).
  • Ownership and engagement is fundamental for team energy and success. Tools and strategies to get everyone involved should be varied and non-time consuming - such as inviting ideas/comments/reflections over certain periods in varied groups. Relying on the same strategy continually loses freshness and implication.
  • Getting everyone on board to create a plan takes time but is more likely to be carried through if people own and commit to what they work towards.
  • All development work on effective feedback is empowering at all levels in any relationship and leads to greater team maturity and effectiveness

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