Nov 20, 2008

High performing teams

Our IT leader discussed high performing teams with us today . Here's what I gathered...

What is a high performing team?
- A team whose output is much greater than what team members could achieve individually (whole is greater than the sum of its parts)

High performing teams are rare...

Their foundational qualities are:
- Unquestionable trust
- Respect and understanding of team member strengths (and weaknesses)
- Unquestioned commitment to task

Once they have the foundational qualities, high performing teams usually exhibit following behaviors...
- Cover for each other
- Personal achievements are secondary to team achievements
- Push project boundaries

Here are a few things we can do to help create high performing teams:
- Set expectations for commitment to task
- Send message that you trust team members
- Give team members chance for new beginnings (eliminate/minimize preconceptions). Consider each day as a fresh start for yourself and others too...
- ?

If you think about it, the foundational and behavioral requirements for high performing teams seem similar to Maslow's hierarchy of need for individuals. May be we can conceptualize high performing team requirements with "Maslow's hierarchy of need for teams".


  1. I've discussed a classic anti-pattern of high performing teams in the traffic cop/chicken discussion

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