launch a new team



This series of short posts explores more deeply the Nine Team Moments that Matter when you, as a team leader, may need to pay extra attention to the needs and performance of your team. We identified these moments by blending our review of the research into high performing teams and our more than two decades of working with teams as internal and external consultants / coaches. 

Moment 9: harvest the learnings

All too often we quickly finish a project, deliver the report, if all has gone well, celebrate together…and then move on to the next thing.

At the end of a piece of work, a team has all the information It is likely to get about what each member can learn from their team experiences. Members are ready to internalize and use the lessons they learn from their work. Whether we remember the experience as wonderful, or one we would rather forget, the opportunity to learn should not be lost. Thus, we need to make sure that we harvest the learnings.

The 4 L's retrospective

A simple way to do this is the 4 L’s retrospective. I ask teams to reflect on:

  • What did I like about this team experience?
  • What did I learn as a result of this team experience?
  • What was lacking or missing for me during this team experience?
  • What am I looking forward to taking into my next team or project?

Another simple technique is an ‘After Action Review’ where the team reviews these 4 questions:

  1. Intended results: What did we intend to accomplish? Revisit what you developed during your team launch.
  2. Ground Truth: What were our actual results? (Data)
  3. What contributed to those results?
  4. What lessons do we want to take away for next time?

If you are working with a virtual team, you can use the Miro template to guide the feedack.

There are many good retrospective tools and templates available. The key here is to take the time and use them before moving on. Better still, document your discussion and keep with any project report.

They key is before dashing off to the next project, take time to reflect as well as celebrate!


Wageman, R., Fisher, C. M., & Hackman, J. R. (2009). Leading Teams When the Time is Right:. Finding the Best Moments to Act. Organizational Dynamics, 38(3), 192–203.

Teams and changes in context mater.

are you about to end your project?

Reach out and we would be happy to explore how you can harvest the learnings and carry these through to your next team or project.

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