Mini-MBA: Team Management Essentials Curriculum

Goal Setting

The purpose of this module is to review organizational, team, and individual goals and their effect on influencing behaviors and outcomes in a corporate setting. We will explore the importance of setting challenging but achievable goals, the different types of goals, and discuss how best to apply the OKR and S.M.A.R.T. frameworks. We will review multiple examples of goals established at all three levels, as well as personal goals, and how to prioritize and create action plans for achieving them. Once this module is completed, you will have a better understanding of how best to develop, achieve, and evaluate your goals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Goals should be developed with the input of employees and should be FAST – Frequent, Ambitious, Specific, and Transparent
  • When establishing employee/individual goals, consider the fit between the person and the job, to identify appropriate performance, learning and behavioral goals.
  • Following the three-step process of developing, achieving, and evaluating goals will help ensure that your organization, team, and employees reach their goals.

Communicating for Results

This module is designed to support the learner in understanding how to consider their personal communication preferences. Once that is established, the goal is to realize how to flex your style for the benefit of your team as well as others who you interact with on a regular basis. Finally, learn all kinds of tips and tricks to ensure that your messaging hits the mark.

Key Takeaways:

  • Provide a new lens around the challenges of communication in our current world
  • Identify your thinking preferences and how you impact others through your communication style
  • Discover new ways to communicate with others in order to get your desired results

Training and Development

This module is focused on the roles of training and development in the workplace. After a foundation in andragogy (how adults learn), we will explore why to focus on these areas and the key elements of both workplace training and professional development. The module includes a focus on best practices, considerations, and practical implementation of these processes in organizations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Competency in adult learning theory
  • Understanding and contextualizing training and development for staff
  • Understanding key factors and best practices in adult training and development processes

Relationships: Directing and Influencing

In this module, we will explore the distinction between management and leadership, and discuss strategies and approaches for building, strengthening, and repairing relationships in organizational life. Drawing on key concepts related to social influence, communication, and emotional intelligence, this interactive asynchronous module will provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on current strengths and areas for improvement and apply the concepts to their personal and professional lived experiences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Relationships are critical to the success of any organization.

Strategic Thinking

This sessions provides a framework to formulate a strategic plan for long-term organizational success. As competition intensifies, and organizations increasingly operate under greater resource constraints, the ability to clearly articulate how one will generate value-added takes on greater significance. By focusing on the different tradeoffs involved in strategic choices, this session will equip you with concrete tools that will help you chart and communicate the long-term vision of your organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategy is an integrated set of choices about what you want to accomplish, where you will focus and how you will focus.
  • To gain competitive advantage, you must have a clear differentiation on value creation and capture compared with the alternatives.
  • Strategy implies tradeoffs, and articulating who and what you are not serving is crucial to the long-term success of the organization.

Maximizing Your Impact in Cross-Functional and other Types of Teams

Teams are everywhere these days, but research shows that most teams, especially cross-functional teams, are dysfunctional. Fortunately, recent research has identified the “secret sauce” of high-performing teams, and in this module, we will cover what makes a team successful, what the four pillars of team success are, and what team leaders and team members can do to contribute to their team’s success.

Key Takeaways:

  • A team’s effectiveness is based on three criteria: results or output, collaborative capabilities, and team member development.
  • Transforming into a high-performing team requires attention to four fundamental pillars: compelling direction, right foundation, supportive context, and shared mindset.
  • Successful cross-functional and hybrid teams have team leaders and members who have both specific “hard” skills (e.g., subject matter expertise, project management experience) as well as specific “soft” skills (e.g., active listening, collaboration).

Conflicts: Recognizing and Managing

Conflict in teams is inevitable and can be healthy or unhealthy, depending upon its focus and whether it is managed effectively. This module will introduce and provide an overview of how and when conflict manifests itself in teams, how it shapes other important team processes and outcomes, different approaches one might adopt in handling it, and best practices for managing it so as to capture its upsides and constrain its downsides. While conflict at work may be unavoidable and anxiety provoking, by learning to diagnose it and manage it effectively, employees and managers put themselves and their teams in a better position to thrive and realize their full potential.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Accept that conflict in teams is common and inevitable.
  2. Understand when conflict can be healthy (productive) and when it is unhealthy (unproductive).
  3. Design teams to promote interpersonal trust, cooperation, and collaboration, as opposed to mistrust, competition, and animosity.
  4. Foster openness to and an appreciation of healthy conflict, dissenting views, and minority opinions to establish productive conflict norms.
  5. Be aware of your own and other members’ default conflict handling style (s) and select styles strategically.
  6. Anticipate and plan for stressful conversations rather than entering into such encounters blindly.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is an essential skill. This module provides a systemic multi-step problem-solving for consequential business decisions with significant outcomes in a diverse global workforce. The course utilizes research from behavior economics to mitigate and avoid common mistakes at each stage to ensure successful problem-solving. The course aims to make you an effective business manager who proactively solves business problems in today's fast-paced and ever-changing workplace.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Our brains are wired for quick thinking to maximize decision quantity. Quick thinking is laden with heuristics to bypass deliberate thinking. Quality problem solving requires recognizing these heuristics using critical thinking.
  2. Problem solving is a process that requires quality decision-making at every step. The 13-step process provides time for critical thinking to surface hidden factors in decision-making and navigate complex situations.
  3. We need to see problem solving as a systematic, continuous improvement process consisting of hypothesis-to-solution agreement, followed by solution implementation and metrics monitoring.

Building & Sustaining Inclusive Workplaces

The purpose of this course is to draw a distinction between diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and see how each facet is related to each other. The course provides examples of actions leaders can take to build inclusive teams where employees feel supported, respected, and valued. The session also explores the leader's role in disrupting bias in the workplace and eliminating barriers for their team members. The course ends by briefly reviewing the state of DEI. Leaders will be encouraged to consider a specific action they can commit to ensure DEIB moves forward at a time when some are skeptical of DEIB's role in workplaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • DEIB – Defining Key Terms. Define and discuss the differences between diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
  • Inclusive Hiring. Discuss the value of inclusive hiring techniques, including where to source talent and how to create inclusive job descriptions and landing pages.
  • Fostering Inclusive Workplaces. Explain the benefits of inclusive internal talent mobility strategies and describe approaches that can be used to deliver performance feedback in a meaningful way.

Performance Management

This session will delve into the fundamentals of performance management. The module will explore concepts that are associated with alignment, goal setting, employee engagement, feedback, and performance measurement and evaluation. The overall purpose of the module is to help the participants capture the essence of how to create a strategic approach that will sustain and optimize employee and organizational performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • By the end of the module, participants will have a working knowledge of how to develop and deploy effective individual and organizational goals.
  • By the end of the module , participants will understand, and be able to apply, the powerful connections between goal setting, employee motivation and individual and organizational performance
  • By the end of module, participants will have a working understanding of the various types of employee and organizational performance metrics

Program Overview

Learn more by reviewing the overview of our Mini-MBA: Team Management Essentials program plus program benefits and outcomes.