There are key areas that you can look at to see if your company - or team - is storming. The only way to really improve it, however, is to be transparent with yourself and try to not shrug it off just because “that’s the way it’s always been around here”. If you really want to get out of storming, here are the things to look for:
1. Miscommunication is consistent - Communication seems all over the place. You are not on the same page as you once were. You aren’t even so sure you are in the same book. You are still growing, but you’ve hit some kind of plateau that no longer allows you to move quickly, with efficiency and order. Executives are involved in much more management than is healthy, and managers attempt to work and communicate across departments without much success.
2. Decision-making is all over the place - Agreement on decisions is now harder to reach, and when things do get decided, you find little buy-in and accountability. Project implementation requires much more energy and conflict than it used to. Decisions are now having to be made suddenly with just a few people driving everyone else, and these are usually last-minute decisions, on the fly, placing things in a constant state of change. The rest of the team sincerely asks one another, “What is going on?” You are storming. Your teams are not able to work as harmoniously as they once did.
3. Meetings are ineffective and counterproductive - It is very difficult to get everyone on the same page anymore. Meetings are not as effective. Everyone now only use hurried “hallway conversations” to make decisions. Some people are told of decisions; others must play catch-up. There seems to be different agendas, different timelines, and different viewpoints of how things ought to get done.
4. Written processes are outdated and rarely used - You have outgrown your processes as well as your policies and procedures. To establish procedures, everyone now resorts to overusing email and they hope that everyone else reads their instructions. Directions and decisions are now only announced whereas they used to be collaborated.
5. Unclear direction and little growth - In storming, your bottom line growth may be a fraction of what it was once was. Or if you are growing financially, it is with a lot of internal turmoil and tension. There may be a good sense of culture, but there is a prevailing sense of discontentment, and everyone “feels” that things are no longer smooth, no longer able to move forward together toward clear goals. Employee morale is waning.
To help you set a course to get out of storming, you have to do a self-assessment of your company and / or team.