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High Performance Teams

In: Business and Management

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Leading High Performance Teams A high performance team is defined as (Field, 2011)” a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high level of collaboration and innovation, that produce superior results. The high performance team is regarded as tight-knit, focused on their goal and nothing else.” A high performance team is a rare group of individuals that can break boundaries, accomplish projects with almost unrealistic expectations and are committed to a higher expectation than regular teams. These teams have a strong identity of what they are trying to accomplish and they are a tight knit group that realizes that completing their objectives are more important than internal politics that might hinder the performance of the team. They all realize that their goal is one that is noble and performance of the team is greater than that of the individual. Members of these teams leverage each other’s strengths to help produce a more effective learning environment that produces a higher outcome than that of an individual group. There is a high level of comradery and fun within the group. Within that level of comradery is a level of trust and diversity that helps to coordinate success with the team efforts. The team needs to understand exactly what they are trying to accomplish. According to David Thiel (Thiel, 2009)there are five key factors that make up a high performance team:
Clear: I see it. The benefits of team effort are understood by everyone.
Relevant: I want it. Team purpose and goals are aligned to individual goals and interest.
Significant: It’s worth it. Team objectives are of sufficient magnitude to make the work worth the effort.
Achievable: I believe it. Everyone believes the team purpose is realistic and attainable.
Urgent: I want it…Now! A sense of timeliness drives behavior.
One might look at a high performance team and believe that they are the cream of the crop and that by just by calling them high performance will have them achieve the desired outcome for the team. They still need a leader to organize the team and pick team members that will work well together and be successful. Team members need to be selected based on their skills and the upcoming tasks in mind. The leader of this team needs to be able to inspire passion in the team members. Have team members that have an innate passion for a project helps the team to achieve greatness, but when a team member doesn’t have that passion the leader needs to inspire them. They can help produce this inspiration by explaining the benefit to the organization that this will team provide by completing these tasks and what type of cost benefit will occur and, if applicable, what this project can help in the community.
The team also needs to have a leader that they can depend on to get the required resources and training to help the team develop the skills it needs to complete the tasks. As the leader organize and select team members he needs to keep in mind who will work well together and what skill that person will bring to the team. The leader must be able to show his team that he is dependable and will follow through with what he commits to do and in the same sense the leader needs to follow up the commitments of the team members to ensure they understand that when they are given assignment they are expected to accomplish these tasks with the same type of commitment as the leader.
The leader of the team needs to help create a very clear picture of what is the team is trying to accomplish and keeping the team focused. Due to the limited amount of time in each day, normal operational tasks come in conflict of what the team is trying to achieve. There is always the potential for scope creep in the process of trying to complete these projects. Paul Harkin explains how a leader needs to keep his team on tasks, (Harkins, 2008) “So, when things get tough for the team (as they always do), the extraordinary leader reintroduce the big picture with phrases like: “Remember our objective” and “Let’s keep our eye on the ball”.
These leaders must have the ability to have open communication within their teams. The leader can build some passion by encouraging others to be forward thinking and stimulate creative energy with in the team. There are individuals that have great ideas on any team. Some of these team members are afraid or unsure of their voice in the group. The leader needs to be able to pull all great ideas from the group and unite them as coherent focused team that all are able to voice their opinions and ideas in front of the whole group without the fear of ridicule or retribution. Providing this guidance and leadership allows for all team members to feel a part of something bigger then themselves.
More is expected from a leader of a high performance team than just normal everyday leaders. These leaders have the potential to take their teams and produce fantastic results with their organizations. They have to be committed and have the passion to lead their team to greatness. There are countless teams, companies and business that have great member of the group, but these same organizations will fail without a team leader that can help set a clear, precise vision and guide them to complete the mission that they set out to accomplish. Reference
Field, J. (2011, June 23). High Perfomance Teams. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Performance_Teams
Harkins, P. (2008, July 3). 10 leadership techniques for builiding High Performing Teams. Retrieved September 9 , 2011, from Linkage: www.linkaginc.com
Thiel, D. (2009, July 7). A Process to Build High Performance Teams. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from Design Intelligence: http://www.di.net/articles/archive/3102/

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