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Neish Consultancy

Building High Performance Teams

Successful teams all give themselves the time to learn to be a team.” (Katzenbach and Smith, 2001)

Whether you are a team member or a team leader you have a role in building your team to high performance.

Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958)

In 1958 Tannenbaum and Schmidt gave us a continuum that is a simple model of leadership theory which shows the relationship between the level of freedom that a manager chooses to give to a team, and the level of authority used by the manager. You can see that as the team’s freedom is increased, the manager’s authority decreases. This is a positive way for both teams and managers to develop.

This is a useful continuum for us to explore if we are a team member or a leader. How much freedom are we taking as a team member? How much freedom are we encouraging as a leader? It would be interesting to gain your whole teams view on this and discuss everyone’s viewpoint.


High Performance Work Teams

In 2016 Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese (The Collaboration Imperative,  Published by Cisco Systems. Carl Wiese. Published by Cisco Systems. Via Huffpost Nov 2016) gave us 10 characteristics of high performance work teams.

  1. People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team’s purpose — they feel free to express feelings and ideas
  2. Everybody is working toward the same goals
  3. Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks
  4. Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected
  5. Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere
  6. The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute — even the introverts
  7. Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed. Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles
  8. The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement — in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which little second-guessing occurs
  9. Each team member carries his or her own weight and respects the team processes and other members
  10. The leadership of the team shifts from time to time, as appropriate, to drive results. No individual members are more important than the team

How does your team stack up against them?

Have Fun Together

At Neish Consultancy we believe that teams should have fun together. This exercise would be a great start to your next team meeting. Let us know what you come up with.

What is Your team as a metaphor

  • Think about the culture
  • Personalities
  • Success
  • Performance

Other tools to search

Tuckman’s Team Development

Patrick Lencioni – The five Dysfunctions of a Team

Stephen M R Covey The Speed of Trust


Want to know more about our one-day course on building high performance teams? Contact us.

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