High Performance is by Design
Any team can be a good team with a little bit of luck, a good leader, and positive intentions from team members. However, it’s impossible to be a high-performing team and sustain it indefinitely without putting effort into your team. A high-performing team is created by design and continuous focus on the conditions for success.
When we set out to identify what truly sets high-performing teams apart from the rest, we recognised the need to focus on the most critical facets that underpin their success. This led to the development of a framework known as The Edge Dynamics of High Performing Teams which are: Reason, Results, Routines, Relationships and Resilience. When teams pay close attention to all of these elements, they maximise their chances of achieving high performance.
High performance is not achieved through a one-off event – a team building day can be fun but rarely has lasting impact and needs follow up and follow through to create change in the team. High performance is achieved through regular moments of focus on the team and their dynamics which if harnessed create the conditions for success. But where to start and how do you monitor progress? Review each of the dynamics below and decide where the priority is. Alternatively use a lite version of our Advantycs® Team Diagnostic for a quick assessment of where your team is at.
The Edge Dynamics
Reason: At the core of a high-performing team lies a clear sense of purpose or “why” the team exists. This purpose serves as the team’s “North Star”, keeping the team motivated even when the going gets tough. Its not enough for individuals to know their own “why”, they need to share it with other members of the team and connect it to the wider team’s purpose. This creates intrinsic levels of motivation which endure even when the going gets tough.
Results: High-performing teams are defined not only by their individual contributions but by their collective accountability for achieving results together. At this time of year most people are setting goals, targets and measures of success. High performing teams don’t just do this at the individual level. They create team goals and align individual goals with them. This also provides an opportunity to identify areas for collaboration and development. This emphasis on shared accountability minimises duplication of effort and maximises productivity. This prevents the team from settling into mediocrity with an individual-centric focus. The team becomes a multiplier for results, becoming greater than the sum of its parts.
Routines: Routines encompass the team’s working methods, rhythms, communication practices, and decision-making processes. These routines streamline operations, keeping team members informed and enabling efficient decision-making. Activate the team’s ways of working and get their routines right and the team can operate at their best. Design them well, then review them at the start of the year to ensure they are fit for purpose in the face of changing team needs.
Relationships: The quality of relationships within a team significantly influences its effectiveness. How team members feel about being part of the team and how they interact with each other determines the team’s cohesion and ability to collaborate effectively. High performing teams are strong on core relationship behaviours like trust, constructive conflict and making tough decisions together. Take time to review where there are opportunities to collaborate and where they could foster stronger relationships, especially if team members have joined or left the team recently.
Resilience: Resilience reflects the energy levels of the team. It involves learning from experiences to continually improve, as well as reviewing and refreshing all the dynamics regularly to anticipate and respond to changes in the team’s environment. Resilience is the space of experimentation, continuous improvement and the celebration of progress and successes. How can the team support each other to build resilience over 2024?
While it’s common for teams to focus on one or two conditions, the most crucial insight is that true high performance requires concerted effort across all dynamics. Partial improvement may boost a team’s performance, but to reach and maintain the pinnacle of high performance, all must be harnessed, as they work in synergy to create a cohesive and effective team.
Work with your team to select which dynamic would be the most important place to start this year. Or complete a quick diagnostic of your team using a lite version of our Advantycs® Team Diagnostic for a quick assessment of where you could start.
Have some questions or want to discuss further how you can maximise the performance of your team and unlock it’s potential. Get in touch with us here.