The Team Contract accelerated a lot of the initial team building. Many conversations that could have caused future conflict was had right there, during the formation of the Team Contract.

The things that usually irritate me in the teams I work with was dealt with and discussed in a safe space.
— Member of a newly formed cross-functional team

The root of all conflicts in a team is a value clash on a deep level. People that 'check out' of the team do so because their values aren't being honoured.

How much would you want a team where everyone is engaged, committed and having the tough conversations - safely?

This is what we do in the Team Bootstrap. In the Bootstrap, we uncover personal values in use in the context of the team. Then we help the team to translate those values into statements of behaviour on a team contract.

To some people, "coffee" means "black, bitter and hot". To others "creamy and sugary with sprinkles". To prepare the wrong coffee can be a personal insult. That is why we always ask "How do you want your coffee?".

To some people, "respect" means "treat me as an equal". To others "be quiet when I speak". Surprisingly, we never ask "how do you want your respect?". Similarly, just listing and uncovering the values of a person does not make it obvious how to honour those values.

The Team Bootstrap has the following outcomes:

  • The opportunity for everyone in the team to understand why everyone else is there
  • What the needs are of everyone
  • The behaviour that is expected from each other as a team
  • A team / social contract that captures the discussions of the day

The Team Contract answers this question: "What do you personally need to be in place, to be on this team?". The contract is then used to help each other stay checked into the team.

I have found the Team Bootstrap process to be an indispensable part of forming a team into a cohesive unit that works well together