Creating transformational change is a very challenging task for a leader. It’s safe to say that you cannot do it alone, so to be successful you need a high performing team. This is a group that can consistently meet or exceed their goals over an extended period of time. Developing a high performing team is not a short term effort that can be solved in a single meeting or team building event. When creating a high performing team, here are a few questions you need to answer:
1. What is it that we can only accomplish together?
You need to determine what each team member’s individual contribution is to the team’s purpose. Why is this person on the team? What does he or she bring that is necessary?
2. What are the outcomes we will deliver as a team?
These are the team’s performance goals. They include the final goal (what the team was formed in to accomplish) and sub-goals of each individual to help track progress.
3. Do we have the requisite talents to achieve our purpose and goals?
These are the collective talents of your team members including skills, knowledge, and expertise. If your team does not have what it takes to achieve the goals then you need to bring in people with the requisite skills, or form a new team altogether.
4. How do we work together to achieve our purpose and goals?
It is essential that a high performing team establish how their collaboration will operate, and it is a collaboration. What are the roles and responsibilities of each team member? What kind of behaviour is expected or not tolerated? How will the team approach any given task? Thought should also be given to the interpersonal dynamics of the team. Your team has to function well as a team. That doesn’t mean they have to like each other, but it does mean they have to respect each other.
5. Are we all committed to work together to achieve our purpose, goals and deliver results?
If your team makes the commitment to work together they are agreeing to be mutually accountable. They agree to trust and respect one another, to collaborate and support each other, and take ownership for their role in the success of the team against it’s goals.
Forming and nurturing a high performing team takes time and effort. The questions above provide a good starting off point to help leaders choose team members, create clarity around roles and responsibilities, and identify critical success factors. The time spent building and maintaining a high performing team will provide a significant return in faster decision making, greater commitment, and in leading transformational change.