Building a High-Performance Team

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Rather, it can lead to better decisions. Many teams benefit from having an impartial observer in their initial sessions to help identify and improve team dynamics. An observer can, for example, point out when discussion in the working session strays into low-value territory.

5 Tips to Create High-Performance Teams

One CEO, speaking for five times longer than other team members, was shocked to be told he was blocking discussion. Rather, they help build the mind-sets and habits that team members need to first observe then to regulate their behavior when back in the office. Committing to a handful of practices can help. For example, one Latin American mining company we know agreed to the following:. After a few months of consciously practicing the new behavior in the workplace, a team typically reconvenes offsite to hold another round of work and reflection sessions.

The format and content will differ depending on progress made. For example, one North American industrial company that felt it was lacking a sense of renewal convened its second offsite in Silicon Valley, where the team immersed itself in learning about innovation from start-ups and other cutting-edge companies. How frequently these offsites are needed will differ from team to team. But over time, the new behavior will take root, and team members will become aware of team dynamics in their everyday work and address them as required.

In our experience, those who make a concerted effort to build a high-performing team can do so well within a year, even when starting from a low base. The initial assessment of team dynamics at an Australian bank revealed that team members had resorted to avoiding one another as much as possible to avoid confrontation, though unsurprisingly the consequences of the unspoken friction were highly visible. Other employees perceived team members as insecure, sometimes even encouraging a view that their division was under siege. Nine months later, team dynamics were unrecognizable.

The biggest difference? Hard as you might try at the outset to compose the best team with the right mix of skills and attitudes, creating an environment in which the team can excel will likely mean changes in composition as the dynamics of the team develop. CEOs and other senior executives may find that some of those they felt were sure bets at the beginning are those who have to go.

Other less certain candidates might blossom during the journey. There is no avoiding the time and energy required to build a high-performing team.

6 Characteristics of a High Performance Culture

Yet our research suggests that executives are five times more productive when working in one than they are in an average one. CEOs and other senior executives should feel reassured, therefore, that the investment will be worth the effort. The business case for building a dream team is strong, and the techniques for building one proven. McKinsey uses cookies to improve site functionality, provide you with a better browsing experience, and to enable our partners to advertise to you.

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Building a high performance team - The Performance Room

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Characteristics of High-Performance Teams

Yes, I want to receive the Entrepreneur newsletter. Are you sure you want to logout? We trust our friends and we distrust our enemies. Building a positive relationship increases trust. The second pillar of trust is knowledge or expertise. We trust people that have the right answer or can provide insight.

We trust people when they can help solve problems. Use your knowledge and skills to help others solve a problem and it will increase trust. The third pillar of trust is consistency. When you say you will do something and you do it, people trust you.


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Being consistent and walking your talk makes you a person that can be trusted. Having worked on both high-performance teams and teams from hell I know the difference is huge. Life is not good when you are in the team from hell. That experience can infect other parts of your life in a very negative way.

Life is good on a high-performance team, and we all deserve be a part of one.


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  7. I am the founder of two leadership development firms, Novations and Zenger Folkman. Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Have you ever been part of a great team at work? View gallery.

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