Cate Huston, writing for Quartz at Work:
Sometimes part of rebranding a team means rebranding people—especially those who were seen as responsible for the team’s previous underperformance, or who had struggled to be effective under the previous structure.
Sometimes the reputation is deserved, but far from always. Most people don’t want to fail. The challenge of rebranding is to understand the reasons for the failure—perhaps some were structural, and some were personal—and working to address them. Were people in the wrong role? Had they not gotten the right feedback? Were they not set up to succeed?
Once you feel the structure is addressed, you can start positioning them more positively, working with and showcasing their strengths. Often you also need to rebrand people in their own eyes too—helping them see themselves as a leader when they used to be an individual contributor, or helping them understand their strengths lie in technical leadership, not people management. You also might need to rebrand the environment to them, moving them out of a victim mindset into one that is more empowered.
In every failing team I’ve encountered, there were people who weren’t a good fit and needed to leave to move forward. But also in every situation there were far more people who, with the right feedback, coaching, and encouragement, were able to surprise everyone (not least themselves) with what they were capable of. Making sure those people got the recognition and credit for their work, in terms of both personal growth and business impact, is a key part of a good team rebrand.