- How do I get my operational team to become more cohesive and better performing?
- How does the team’s actions and behaviour set the needed cultural and strategic context?
- As individuals within the team, they perform well, but as a team there is a lack of accountability that affects their overall performance. How can I address this?
These are just some of the questions senior management ask about their teams’ performance. It is fundamentally about addressing some dysfunction in how the team is operating, or in supporting a team at it’s inception to help it and the individual members get the best possible start. Either way, we work with teams enabling them to understand other team member’s perspective and values, thus enabling higher quality conversations and communications to take place. In supporting teams through this transformational process, we work with Hawkins’ five core disciplines of high performing teams. These are:
To perform at a high level, teams must have a clear purpose set for them by external parties, ie the board of directors or senior management. The commission must clearly state the objectives and also the methods of measuring success along the way to attainment of the objective. The team leaders must be appointed and then the individual members with the right skills and chemistry need to be brought together.
Once the team knows and understands the requirements from external stakeholders the next step is for the team to determine to clarify it’s own internal purpose, in order to achieve the desired objective. The team must set some clear ground rules about how they are going to operate effectively. The main areas requiring clarification by the chosen team are:
- Strategic goals and objectives
- Protocols and ways of working
- Roles and expectations
- Compelling vision for success
This is in effect is where the most interesting and challenging aspect of creating and sustaining high performing teams occurs. The team must consciously and continually attend to and be aware of how and where they are functioning well, and where they are in effect failing. This can be down to a number of factors but inherently it will be about people’s beliefs, values assumptions and associated pattern of behaviours. Any difficulties emerging in the team dynamics must be identified early and dealt with appropriately and swiftly.
The final discipline happens when the team steps back and reflects on it’s achievements, performance to that point, and then learns from this stage to enhance it’s performance in the next stage of the cycle of engagement. This needs to be done both collectively as a team but also by each individual within the team.
Source Hawkins P 2011
It is important to point out that a high performing team will be in a continual cycle addressing these areas. It is not a strictly linear process.