What is a high-performing team, and how does it differ from a merely ‘good’ team?
The answer is four-fold:
1) In a high-performing team, members work together to generate ideas and solutions that are better than any one member of the team could have created by themselves. Put differently, they harness a Collective Intelligence that yields superior decisions.
2) The way they work together — in which everyone’s voice is heard, and all points of view are considered — results in a deep, shared commitment to decisions — which in turn unlocks aligned and effective execution.
3) High-performing teams continuously build trust, even as they work through high-stakes issues or strongly differing opinions.
4) The first three points can be summarized by the term inclusivity. The real magic is to learn how to run this process reliably and efficiently — in other words, to be both inclusive and decisive at the same time.
If you were to observe such a team, the most visible difference would be the quality of their discussions. High-performing teams have far better dialogue than ordinary teams: marked by clarity of purpose, energy, incisive questions, curiosity, empathy, deep listening, a healthy balance of challenge and support — and an eye on the clock.
Each of these steps requires new skills. Our approach focuses on equipping teams with the skills that enable them to consistently generate all four of these outcomes.
In addition, team members will experience a surge in personal satisfaction. Being part of a high-performing team is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Ten years from now, your team members won’t remember if you hit your annual targets, but they’ll remember what it felt like to be a part of this team.