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In a few podcasts you mention key parts of a high-performance team, like feedback.

I'm curious - what is your definition of a high-performance team? What must it have?

Thanks
Jon

bflynn's picture

[quote="jonp"]In a few podcasts you mention key parts of a high-performance team, like feedback.

I'm curious - what is your definition of a high-performance team? What must it have?
[/quote]

I think Drucker answers that question - it has to have results. Whatever the purpose of the team is, it must accomplish them in an effective (efficient) manner to be high performing.

The team can be any size, shape, composition or purpose. If it accomplishes it task effectively, it is high performing. If it doesn't, its just another team.

I know this might now answer the question of how to build a high performance team. Those are much deeper questions and there is no single right answer. There's a lot of research being done to understand team dynamics, but those dynamics are incredibly complex. For example, you can replace one member of high performing team and make it totally ineffective.

One of the key things is that a high performing team has to communciate. I think its one point that Manager Tools can really help with because there is a great communciations toolset embedded in the tools.

Mark's picture

Jon-

Good question, messy answer. :wink:

The term "high performance team" was actually coined to mean a very specific thing. I think it was Katzenberg who coined it, in a book about teams. Nowadays, the term is used widely to mean a lot of different things. Generally, I try to use terms accurately, or at least point out when I am departing from the general or most accurate usage.

In this case, I'd be surprised if I actually used that term without defining it, because I just find the work around "high performing" teams to be a little iffy.

I'm not saying I didn't use the term...if you say I did, I guess I did. I supply the above because I didn't know if you had inadvertently inserted the HP part of the HPT term because HPTs are talked about so much, and I didn't want to defend something I didn't say.

(Iis that not the longest bunch of nothingness EVER? Sorry).

Anyway... I probably just meant teams that perform well. I don't have a sharp definition of a well performing team anymore than I have a good definition of a profitable quarter beyond the words themselves. How to get to either has a list as long as the other.

That said, if you pinned me down, I'd say get great people, give them clear goals, and have them share responsibility. What I would see as they worked would be incredible candor, maniacal communication, action trumping discussion, and shared rewards.

Things that work against them are hierarchies (in the team - meaning great teams have very UNclear bosses) and lack of clarity about goals and parameters.

I think I've just taken longer to say nothing different than what Brian said above!

Hope it helps.

Mark

US101's picture

That helps Mark. You've reminded me to revisit Katzenbach's book which is my favorite on teams.