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Team Management Systems (TMS) case study: Supporting sustained team development
September 6, 2005
Karin Hoernig, aha! Initiatives
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Industry: Auto

TMS Products:
• Team Management Profile  
• Team Working Wheel  
• Team Performance Profile

Total Participants:     8

Organizational Challenge:
• Sustainable Team Evolution  
• Ongoing Individual Team Member Development

The Opportunity

The Management Committee of this Canadian division of a global company were clear that they did not want to rest on the laurels of recent successes.  They set the intention to continue evolving in ways that optimized their effectiveness given current and future business objectives. 

During the past two years the team had participated in processes that involved peer feedback and gaining insight to work values.  This plus their experiences as a team provided a foundation from which they could build.  There were also two recent additions to the team.  Being attentive to the integration of these individuals into the team was also identified as key. 

Colleagues from operations in Italy and Spain had experienced and recommended TMS instruments. 

Action Taken

The TMS facilitator worked collaboratively with the President and VP of Human Resources to plan and design a three day retreat at an isolated fishing resort.  The intention was to create an environment for the team to be focused just on being together and accomplishing the goals of the retreat.  Components of the retreat included:

  • Team Management Profile reports:  Highlighting and sharing the elements of this data which was relevant to their work as individuals and to the current business objectives.
  • Developing new individual action plans using the TMS data and data from previous developmental work.
  • Team feedback sessions for each team member.
  • Team Performance Profile reports, the composite of input from the team and individuals outside of the team.
  • Identifying the implications of the TMP and TPP data for current and future business objectives.
  • Fishing every day!
  • Private team meals especially planned to the food and wine preferences of the group.


  • Each team member developed a very specific action plan based on their work preferences, the team action plan and business objectives.
  • The Types of Work model was introduced as a tool to support the success of individual and team plans.  For example:  work function gaps were recognized and alternate ways of ensuring balance were identified.
  • Particular team tendencies are better understood through linking the TMS data and team work patterns and results.
  • A team action plan was created which focused on clarifying the role of the Management Committee and improving the ways the Committee worked together.
  • The time spent together fishing and during meals created great opportunities for conversations to continue in more informal ways that successfully furthered the goals of the retreat.  For example at one dinner the body language displayed by individual members during times of frustration was a topic of discussion with much laughter and useful information shared.
  • The distance of the resort from a major centre meant that cell phone and internet access were not possible.  There were no phones or TV’s in the rooms.  This meant there were minimal distractions.  People did not run off to check messages during breaks or interrupt the flow of the day’s agenda.  The team spent the evening comfortably sitting around the fireplace in the lounge of their chalet talking and joking.  This had a dramatic impact on the quality of the conversations and the results of the retreat.

aha! Initiatives is committed to helping people work together better. Our goal is to turn an aha! experience into productive action.

Karin Hoernig is passionate about helping people work together better. She is a seasoned facilitator and trainer whose over sixteen years of experience includes extensive program design, development and delivery as well as project management of training and consultation initiatives. She has worked with organizations and projects from the corporate, government, and voluntary sectors. Karin’s unique style is focused, collaborative, personal and practical. She has been described as insightful, approachable, thought provoking, and fun. She is also a certified network member with Team Management Systems.

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