Highly performing teams don’t just happen. They take time to evolve and mature, they take the right talent and mix of people, and they take proper leadership.
Major league baseball coach Casey Stengel said
“It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part”
Good team work is elusive for sure, but when people pull together for the greater good, the results can be very sweet.
Not only can great teamwork be very enjoyable for the team members, who inevitably will build great camaraderie, trust, passion and energy together, it is so essential these days as it is really teams, and not the individual, who hold the key to business success.
Models of Team Effectiveness
There are 6 well known models of team effectiveness.
The research, these models, and our own experience, tell us that successful teams do not just happen. They take effort and time. The team must have the right talent, but more importantly, it must have people who want to compete and win but for the greater good of all team members rather than just for themselves. Great teams also need support from an effective team leader, and structures and reward systems that support team effectiveness not just individual effectiveness.
The most recent model of team effectiveness was developed by Patrick Lencioni in 2005.
In his best-selling book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” he said:
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare”
This is one of the most interesting model of team effectiveness. It was developed by Lencioni from his years of working with business teams. According to Lencioni, all teams have the potential to be dysfunctional. This comes as no surprise as you will probably have seen teams that were behaving in dysfunctional ways.
Lencioni says that to improve the functioning of a team, it is important to understand the type and level of dysfunction, or the areas where people can work better together.
He uses a pyramid to demonstrate the hierarchical progression of team development. Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from motivational theory, there are five levels and each must be completed to move on to the next level.
Dysfunction 1. TRUST (Absence of Trust)
Productive individuals thrive on teams that are based on trust. When teams discover how to view vulnerability as an opportunity for strengthening relationships with their teammates, great teams can be built.
Dysfunction 2. CONFLICT (fear of conflict)
When teams have a foundation of vulnerability-based trust, team members feel safe to engage in productive conflict focused on concepts and ideas, rather than personalities. This conflict becomes a means for debating different perspectives and landing on the best possible solution.
Dysfunction 3. COMMITMENT (lack of committment)
Commitment is seen as clarity around decisions and complete buy-in from team members. Teams that achieve commitment use a common language to engage in healthy debate and support decisions even if everyone does not initially agree.
Dysfunction 4. ACCOUNTABILITY (avoidance of accountability)
High-performing teams set high standards for themselves. Holding team members accountable for their responsibilities helps establish respect among peers and guides the team to live up to their expectations.
Dysfunction 5. RESULTS (inattention to results)
The goal of every team is results. By building a foundation of trust, engaging in productive conflict, achieving commitment, and holding team members accountable, teams never lose sight of their collective goals and can achieve their peak performance. It is the collective goal, rather than the individual goal, that is paramount.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ model is one of the most comprehensive assessments of team effectiveness in the research, and it has been tried and tested with thousands of teams.
The Secret Sauce
Teams have the potential to be one of the most powerful drivers of success in organisations today. But highly performing teams don’t just happen. They take time and effort. They take good leadership. And they require supporting tools and processes which aid the functioning and growth of the team.
How Can We help?
CollierBroderick can support your company improve the cohesiveness and performance of your team. The result is more effective and productive working relationships. We can offer an in-depth, easily customizable workplace and team development solution. This workplace and team specific, personalized content creates an in-depth learning experience.
If you are a CEO or senior leader, and would like to learn more, please contact your CollierBroderick HR Advisor or call us on 01 8666426, contact us, or email us on enquiries@collierbroderick.