Have you heard of Cog’s Ladder?

This tool for team development has been used in business for almost 50 years!


Every company struggles with team development at one time or another.  Perhaps that explains why there are hundreds upon hundreds of books and courses written on the topic.  Working your way through the maze of processes, models, systems and approaches offered can be as challenging as their facilitation. 

Some companies devote an entire department to team development.  If you’re a small business, you may not have that luxury, so let us introduce you to a team development model that we’ve used successfully at Lenox with many of our growth-oriented business clients.  It’s called Cog’s Ladder.  First developed by a Procter and Gamble manager, George Charrier, in 1972, this model simplifies team development to a five-phase process based on his observation of how groups interacted, from their initial meeting to becoming an aligned and high-performing team.


Here is a quick snapshot of the 5 Phases of Team Development according to Cog’s Ladder.  For more details, give us a call at 513.618.7080.


Phase #1:  The Polite Phase

Think of this phase as walking into a party and not knowing anyone.  You’re scoping out things, not yet sharing much about yourself while, at the same time, trying to figure out the people around you and where you fit into the group.  The focus at this stage is on people as individuals.


Phase #2:  The “Why are we here?” Phase

You’ve met the people in the room, now it’s time to learn why you’ve been called together.  The “host” (moderator) gives you the lay of the land, conveys your team’s purpose, and delegates responsibilities.  As things become clearer, communication increases and conversation is easier, more open and more natural.  The focus at this stage is on the formation of the team.


Phase #3:  The Power Phase

The team is beginning to form its own natural hierarchy as the variety of personalities blend and find their comfort zone.  Get ready for the “alpha” personalities –- the most confident and competitive individuals –- to come to the fore.  These more vocal team members will speak up as to how they see things should be done, while more reserved individuals will decide with whom they agree.  The focus at this stage is on the moderator letting this natural shake-out of the team to occur.


Phase #4:  The Cooperation Phase

With team members knowing their role, the group can start to work toward its purpose.  Ideally, everyone is contributing and feeling fulfilled in their respective role.  As progress is made, momentum and camaraderie build.  The focus at this stage is on continuing to nurture all team members and the importance of what each of them brings to the table for the team’s shared success.


Phase #5:  The Esprit de Corps Phase

By now the team is working smoothly with productivity and efficiency at a peak.  Team members are content and appreciated; their skills and energy applied toward the team’s purpose.  The focus at this stage is to keep this high point of performance going as long as possible in order to attain all goals.




At Lenox, we work closely with business owners, executives and leaders to help guide coach you through the challenges of business from a financial and business growth perspective. You can trust that we’ve experienced many of your same concerns and, as such, are happy to share what we’ve learned as to what works and what doesn’t. It’s one more way we help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.


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