Author: Phil Hartwick
First Published: 2015
Lifting teams requires knowing what you are aiming for, what’s working well and what could be better.
We use a team centric engagement diagnostic (lovingly known as TED) to find out what the members of the team feel about how they are achieving, collaborating and contributing. The results, along with the themes extracted from confidential interviews gives the team the results they need to be able to compare themselves to high performing teams, identify what they are doing well and what they can focus on improving.
We don’t tell the team what to do to become great, we show them the results and then ask them.
Our framework has eight distinct levels of engagement and performance. In the lower levels the team is under performing in one or more areas and may in fact be dysfunctional. Teams of this kind are more likely not real teams and probably need troubleshooting and special strategies for lifting up.
The top half of our framework are the levels where most functional teams play, while the upper two levels are the realm of high performing teams. Most teams don’t reach these levels organically – they require specific focus and commitment. It is at these levels that teams experience the magic of synergy. Our work is to help teams consistently achieve the top level, Level 8 – Co-executing.
As we relayed in our last blog, What Makes Great Teams, it takes clear strategy, committed leadership and a united team to achieve synergy. High performing teams have synergy because they have clear stretch goals, a collective sense of commitment and urgency to achieve those goals.
We lift teams by getting them to agree to focus on a few key priorities that will lift up performance of the team and their part of the organisation. These three or four priorities are broken down into achievable tasks and become the entire team’s focus for concerted collaboration for the next 3-4 months. This effort is all about generating momentum and urgency, both qualities of synergistic teams. We call this process a ‘sprint’.