Recall that Valence has the Align, Perspective, Reflect360 and Habit tools. For teams the best starting point is either Align or Perspective. We find that Habit is most powerful when it comes as a follow on to those exercises.
Our generic advice is for a team to do Align first
Teams get major positive impact from Align. Team member's enjoy the experience because it is novel, low effort and gives them personalized insights. Manager's find it the easiest way to have a powerful team conversation, that actually raises performance.
It'll highlight the most critical issues for the team to work on and help you come together to make the necessary improvements. You'll go from not knowing what matters and is or isn't working to having not only clarity on where you stand, but what are the root causes and what are solutions the whole team supports.
But there are many specific conditions in which Perspective will be a better start
If any of the following apply to your team we advise to start with Perspective, rather than Align.
Your team is relatively new
A new team needs to get to know one another and how to work best together. Perspective is the best way to build trust and mutual understanding and find ways to adjust your working styles so everyone on the team can succeed. Do it as early as the first week your new team (or new teammates) is working together.
You know your team is really struggling to work together well, and there is a lack of trust
If your team is low on trust, psychological safety or you know they are really struggling together, then start with Perspective. It is a low risk exercise that builds trust and understanding, without getting into thorny issues.
After you've done this conversation your team will get along better, and have practiced the skill of discussion how they work together. From there you have a higher likelihood of success with a Team Align.
You're unable to have a team conversation about results, and need colleagues to review and act on results asynchronously
If you can't get time on the calendar to have an Align conversation, but still want to improve your team, you can do Perspective. There are personal reports, pair comparisons and team views that can all be accessed and engaged with online.
Let every member of your team do the exercise and explore all the reports and recommended actions on their own. We bet folks will instigate a bunch of productive 1-1 conversations.
Every team should keep investing in their health and performance over time, and use the other tools as follow ons
While we highlighted the best place to start above, it is critical that teams codify and follow up on their improvement ideas. After a few weeks or months of that they should re-engage with another team strengthening exercise.
So if you started with Align try Perspective in 3-4 months, and if you started with Perspective do Align 2 months later.
Team health and performance is an ongoing challenge that requires ongoing attention.