TeamAcumen™ Framework

One of the biggest changes to come out of our recent Covid pandemic is the need for well-functioning teams. Whether we’re talking about virtual or in-person teams, our teams’ maturity factors comprise the largest variables an organization must bank upon to undergird appropriate growth.

If our organizations and the internal culture inside them are not fit-up well, we then reap the problems of not paying attention to the maturity of either our culture or our teams – and failure or problems at the team level can decimate our work on behalf of our businesses. This means that team maturity is stalled at best, or fractured and failing at worst.

But in most cases, when we don’t pay attention to the organization’s cultural factors, the evolution of its teams actually devolve, instead of stagnating or evolving to meet the demands of the business. Nothing is more frustrating to the individuals inside the teams themselves, or their leaders, than to see trust disintegrate because no one is paying attention to developing the team.

These teams, time and time again, have the same exact problems, year-in and year-out, and they only gain more momentum in devolution as time goes on.

Trust bottoms out – and then deconstructs – both on their managers first because managers haven’t been able to fix their problems (even though they may not understand them or may not know how to fix them) or the team feels their managers don’t care about them and the team continues to disintegrate around them, with spill out onto other teams.

For teammates on teams like these, members are too busy pointing fingers at others on their team, saying, “It’s their fault, not mine!” All the while, deliverables don’t get done, schedules are not met, budgets take a huge hit from the teams’ misalignments and continuing to burn money on politicking and turf wars, and clients feel as if the company doesn’t care about them at all. Everything devolves – including client relationships.

See if you can match these concepts to their outcomes or definitions:


1. Purpose

2. Psychological Safety

3. Emotional Intelligence

4. Norms

5. Team Awareness

6. Planning Mindset

7. Customer-Driven

8. Results-Driven

9. Decision-Making

10. Agility

11. Stakeholder-Driven

12. Co-Creation

Outcome or Definition

A. Understanding the makeup of the team and where each individual contributes their best

B. The team’s rules of engagement

C. The explicit understanding of what this team is required to do

D. The ability to understand each piece of a project at-hand and determine its “next requirements”

E. The ability to understand and regulate self, and apply empathy in service of the team

F. The ability to safely raise issues appropriately with no fallout and to forgive ourselves or team members for failures

G. Understanding who our customers are, who they’re not, and exactly what would thrill them

H. Understanding the components of risk and conflict resolution, and readjusting judgment based on these concepts

I. The symbiotic and synergistic creation of products or services, harnessing the knowledge of internal clients, external customers and stakeholders, and even sometimes, competitors

J. The ease of ability to harness change for increased future benefit

K. Understanding and applying true metrics to measure what the team really needs

L. Defining those whose input is needed and what “success” looks like from their eyes

Answers: 1) C, 2) F, 3) E, 4) B, 5) A, 6) D, 7) G, 8) K, 9) H, 10) J 11) L, 12) I

How do your teams stack up in their team development? Are they stationary – no development at all?

Are they gaining momentum? If so, how can you take them to that next level of team development?

Where do they get stuck? How can you get them “unstuck?”

Team development doesn’t have to be a mystery to them or to you. We’ve culled together the most needed pieces of team development into our TeamAcumen™ Framework. We’ve gathered a number of international coaches who have partnered together to bring the TeamAcumen™ Framework to life. Based on our research and the body of knowledge surrounding teams and their development, and understanding the various new team maturity models, we’ve created an assessment that can diagnose exactly where any team may get stuck – and then apply new developmental processes inside their team and learning to get them “unstuck.”

Short History Lesson: Most people have heard of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a theory of motivation he first coined in 1943. His theory posits that people must achieve satisfaction at the lower levels of the hierarchy before they can climb to an additional – and freer – level of motivation. In his day, Maslow was one of the first humanistic psychologists. He coined the phrase in the 1950s that we use today: “Positive Psychology,” the study of what is “right” with human beings. Positive Psychology undergirds all Strengths-based development which is one of the hallmarks of Gallup’s CliftonStrengths (created by Dr. Don Clifton) and Gallup’s new BP10 (created by Dr. Sangeeta Badal) assessments, with their accompanying developmental opportunities.

Many of us have also heard of Psychologist Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning), but did you know there are modified models of this? After all, Tuckman’s original models were introduced in 1965 and re-addressed in 1977 (with Mary Ann Jensen) to add the Adjourning Stage. Surely, there must have been some new developments in Teams since then? YES!!

New Models

Agile Teams – Tuckman Got It Wrong by Doc Norton OnBelay 

Agile Teams = “Stable Teams” to Whom New Projects are Brought. This ability to stay within the Team means that the stages are present to some extent or other, all along a continuum. With standard, Agile/Stable Teams, there is no Adjourning Stage because the Team never really adjourns, they just get new projects. However, this is not the case for Teal Teams, which are fluid; joining, rejoining, leaving, beginning – all sometimes in one day, for multiple in-house or co-creative teams.

Builders Consortium Conical Development Model (attached and what the TeamAcumen™ Framework is built around:

New Information

The TeamAcumen™ Framework works like a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs while understanding Tuckman’s modified models in addressing the nature and development inside today’s teams.

We’ve studied teams.

We’ve studied the current models of team development.

We’ve studied the psychology of teams.

We’ve been a part of high-performing, low-performing, and mid-range performing teams during our adult lives, including college and in our business careers.

Based on our studies, the body of knowledge surrounding team development, and our practical knowledge and experience in teaming, including today’s extreme focus on Agility, we’ve found some distinctive learning that can help accelerate team maturity and development.

But more than that, we’ve created an assessment that can identify the internal knowledge of where a team stands in its development – a snapshot in time of their maturity.

We can see when teams starts to exhibit dysfunctional behaviors that drive them off the rails, creating havoc inside the cultural aspect of your organization and lead to team fracture and failure.

But worse still, these team behaviors subject every project they touch to the same mediocre result, dysfunctional problems, and political and turf war difficulties that are a direct result of not paying attention to the maturation process of the teams.

How much would you pay for your teams to work together well, without hitches, bad manners, or problem areas that, time and again, hold your best results hostage?

How would it feel for you to know exactly where your teams are stuck?

You want to fix your teams – for good! Building in the new learning to create a complete trajectory of good inside your organization. Once we start the process, we help you understand how to keep your teams on-track – they will never again allow dysfunction or problems to wreck their own teaming environment – they’ll be on the offensive to make sure the problems don’t creep back in.

But be forewarned, once a team has this development, there’s no going back to the old ways – they (and YOU) won’t want to. Because they feel the difference that working WELL together makes. And, they really do want to make you proud.

We’ve distilled this information into a new team maturity assessment and framework, called the TeamAcumen™ Framework which will:

  • Diagnose the problems, including understanding the symptoms your team is experiencing
  • Create bespoke learning for the EXACT problems identified – for each team
  • Confront the worst problems first, then using follow-on principles and practices, we then move onto the next problems and solutions

Because you want your most crucial team problems alleviated first, we work through a triaged effect. This gives you better results, faster. We then move onto the next critical component of your teams’ maturity or other teams in your organization, adding additional problem solutions after we see the team advancing in their understanding at each level.

Many times, we’re able to tackle more than one level of problems at a time by combining concepts together.


Let me know when this Tool is ready to go – I want to be one of the first to claim development for our team!

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