Team activity: Newsfeed stories

Team activity: Newsfeed stories

Purpose: Help a team agree and focus on the results they want to see from their work. Work toward a team’s vision statement.

Prerequisite: An introduction to team dynamics such as The Five Behaviors Personal Development

Materials: A whiteboard (virtual or physical) or easel pad

Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Instructions

Ask the team to create online newsfeed stories that could appear in 5, 10, or 20 years’ time. What impact has the team had? What notable results have they achieved? What made them so successful? What could other teams learn from them?

  • Let the team choose the publication(s). They can be news publications, trade news, or a topical feed. (Don’t let the teams spend too much time on this. You might want to give them an option of only two or three and share examples of newsfeeds relevant to their organization.)
  • Have the team choose a copy editor (to record and assemble the stories) and a graphics editor (to search for images). Another person can be the layout editor, responsible for creating the actual board.
  • Write the headline(s). What has the team done to warrant capturing news headlines? How has their work had an impact on others? Why would others take an interest in their work?
  • Answer the questions of how and why. How was the team able to get such great results and make such a difference? How was success measured? Why did all this happen? Why does it matter? A summary of this discussion can be used to write the article summary that shows up on the newsfeed. (Teams might not finish a summary with well-crafted and complete sentences. Getting down several bullet points is just fine.)
  • What images illustrate the team’s success and its impact?
  • If time allows, the team can add a paragraph in “other related news,” such as what happened to a competitor, the parent company, the community, or a spin-off project.
  • Once the board is completed, the team can use the results to write a vision statement. They can also discuss how they will need to work together to get these results. Ask: What could derail this trajectory?

If you’re a team of five or fewer, you can do this using one template. If you’re a bigger team, make sure to split the team into groups of three, with each group working on a separate template, before the newsfeeds are presented to the entire group for discussion.

You can use a tool like Jamboard or Microsoft Whiteboard or another whiteboard to do this exercise virtually. Boards can be further edited and saved in a shared location. This will allow the team to refer back to the boards for inspiration, to make conscious and deliberate changes to their visions, or to reflect on their progress.

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