Personal thoughts on high-performance teams

While every market faces big disruptions and the competition gets fiercer than ever, organizations need to remain strong and at the top of their game. The key of success doesn’t reside only in new process or new organization charts but in the ability to rely on the commitment of the teams to success. High-performing teams who are ready to embrace the challenge and achieve the goals you give them.

What is a high-performance team?

A high-performance team goes beyond individuals, it’s about collective performance. I like to take the example of a soccer team: if all players are strong individual performers with limited team attitude, the team won’t succeed; but the team has more chance to win if it is made of equally performing players who are highly sensitive to collective performance.

HPT acronym High Performance Team,color chalk handwriting on blackboard

High-performing teams are very focused on their objectives. You cannot expect a team to perform great if they were not explained clearly what performance means to their organization and management.

That’s the reason why you need as a manager to be very focused on giving a clear and stable direction to your team:

  1. Define your strategy for the upcoming period (year or semester)
  2. Define and validate your objectives to support this strategy
  3. Share this strategy and your objectives with your team
  4. Assign individual objectives to every member of your team and show them how their individual objectives contribute to the team success. Individual objectives should be set for a short enough period so you can evaluate and adjust if needed.
  5. Make sure you are able to monitor those objectives closely and you can reward their achievement in a good way.

vision and action

The Management by Objective is a management discipline invented by Peter Drucker in the 20th century: “MBO becomes a process by which the objectives of an organization are agreed to and decided between the management and the employees, this way the employees understand what is expected of them and help set their own individual goals. Therefore they attain both their personal goals and the organization’s targets.”

mbo-process

Is every company ready for high-performing teams?

While every company would like to have high-performing teams and keep growing, the reality is not that simple. I recently read a book called “The Five dysunctions of a team“. This is an entertaining novel about a promising startup of the Silicon Valley. Their problem: they have the best product, the best customer references, the most cash, the most experienced executive board, the most talented employees but they are not leading the market. Why? They are a dysfunctional team that started to dysfunction due to an absence of trust across the board and the departments and that led to fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results.  I recommend you this best-seller if you haven’t read it yet.

The 5 dysfunctions of a team - book

five_dysfunctions

How to keep a high-performance team?

Whereas identifying key contributors to your success is pretty easy, keeping them in your team requires much more attention and work.

I personally pay much attention to keeping the dialog open and listening to people. “One mouth, two ears” … One of my role is to make sure my team members have everything they need to work efficiently and can trust me on making them grow and fixing their issues.

I recently read a very interesting article “Bad mistakes that make Good Employees leave“. There is a mention of “Brownout”, that is a sort of disengagement. Why are the main reasons for employee brownout?

  • A lot of stupid rules
  • Everyone treated as equal
  • Poor performance tolerated
  • No recognition for accomplishments
  • No care about people
  • Big picture not showed to people
  • People are not let pursuing their passions
  • Not making things fun

The following info-graphics circulating on LinkedIn over the past few weeks is also very interesting to illustrate why employees stay in their companies:

employee_retention

And you, what are your thoughts on high-performing teams?

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