The first part of 2017 has been all about Teams and how they perform – from the average to the high performing, we’ve been looking at the difference that makes the difference. And here’s what we’ve learned…
Really high performing teams all have a few core things in common:
A Vision – they understand the ‘big goal’, where the business is going and how it’s trying to get there. They avoid time consuming and costly distractions and focus their efforts on activities that are in pursuit of the big goal –whatever that may be for them (department, local team, business unit, whole organisation)
A Reason – the Vision is important but knowing Why a team is doing what it’s doing is arguably more important. Simon Sinek, leading author and Ted Talk contributor talks about this in his best-selling book ‘Start with Why’ and demonstrates how really great businesses and teams achieve more than the rest when they understand and communicate Why they do what they do. The Why is where the story gets told and where the emotions are captured. The emotions can propel more drive, creativity and performance than any amount of instruction or financial reward alone.
Diversity – incredible teams have a mix of strengths, opinions, ways of thinking, ways of operating and ways of making decisions. This mix is critical for innovation, fresh approaches and performance. It’s here that new methods can be developed, time and cost can be saved and new products and services are created.
Trust – if a team is going to be worth putting together, it is going to have a purpose. And for that purpose to be achieved the team needs to be able to push the boundaries and get beyond the pleasantries. They need to have learnt enough about each other and what is collectively valued that they can challenge and stretch without fear of repercussions. Only then will they discover something brilliant.
Communication – and then communicate, communicate, communicate. High Performing teams communicate a lot! They tell each other what they’re thinking, how they are doing, what’s working well, what’s not working well, what they need from each other, what they don’t want from each other. Some would label it ‘feedback’ but in really great teams, it’s just communication…….and it’s natural and constant because it’s based on trust and a shared commitment to the Vision and the Why.
We’ve been working with a number of clients recently helping them get behind what makes the difference when it comes to creating high performing teams.
Sometimes those teams have been within functions. Sometimes they have been business units. Sometimes they have been the whole business. No matter what the size, the principles above have applied on their quest to be their best.