The SEPAD MethodFive steps to start building better team habits today
As we work with leadership teams to develop more responsive practices, we use the five steps of The SEPAD Method to build new team habits. The first four steps of SEPAD – Spark, Expand, Practice, and Apply – take place during a team session designed to help you adopt one new team habit. The final step – Debrief – occurs after team members have at least 3 weeks to try the habit.
How it Works
The SEPAD Method is a step-by-step framework for introducing and adopting new team habits. We recommend following these five steps to build buy-in, create inspiration, expand your team’s knowledge, provide opportunities to practice and test habits, and debrief learnings to make the habit stick. Check out the descriptions below for an overview of each step of the method.
It is essential to spark inspiration and curiosity about why a concept matters before launching into knowledge building. Starting with the why is a step that is often skipped and one that we see as critical to building buy-in and alignment. By spending 5-15 minutes to SPARK your team’s learning around a habit, you will ground the adoption of the new team habit in a critical purpose.
Teams need time for explicit knowledge and skill building when introducing new ways of working. The time to expand not only grows every team member’s knowledge base, but it also helps to provide opportunities to build connection, collaboration, and trust across the team. Spend 30-45 minutes on EXPAND as a way to build shared knowledge, skills, and vocabulary as your team works to adopt a new habit.
All successful teams practice skills before applying them in the real world. Practice is a critical part for any shift and provides opportunities to try using new habits in small, safe ways before bringing them back to the real world. We recommend spending 15-25 minutes in PRACTICE mode with your team.
After practicing in a safe environment, we provide time to plan how to take each habit back to the real world, with specific guidance around how to determine a goal, hypothesis, and supporting actions to clarify what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what we expect the outcome to be. Take 10-15 minutes committing to APPLY the team habit.
Structured debrief activities provide time to reflect on how our real-world habit application went. This is a time to share successes and learning across the team. This reflection drives iterations and accelerates learning. After giving your team at least 3 weeks to APPLY the team habit, schedule a 15-30 minute DEBRIEF meeting to share what worked, what didn’t, and consider iterations to commitments.