As we all know, great teams do not just happen, they are built from the ground up. As Jim Collins writes in his bestselling book Good to Great, you first need to get the right people on the bus and then get them into the right seats. But once you achieve this, your job at forming them into a high performance team is far from over. Use this simple model to guide you in the formation of your team whether you are a new team or one that has been together for quite some time.
For years we tried to determine how to create high performance teams. We read dozens of extremely complex models that presented countless steps, but the complexity of these models always ended in confusion and frustration. We knew there had to be an easier way.
We created the Deliberate Team Development model to provide a simple and effective framework to achieve the end goal you are looking for as a team. This model consists of three steps; Vision, Action, and Reflection.
Vision: As Stephen Covey writes, begin with the end in mind. In the formation of a team you should know your end goal. You want to determine success factors such a business goals, but before these can be achieved you need to determine team dynamic goals. You must identify what high performance is for your team in relation to your business and your company culture. It is not enough just to say you will be a good team, you must discuss and determine what high performance is in relation to leadership, team interaction, communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, etc… This vision will provide you with a measuring stick to know if you are being who you said you would be as a team. Without the clear identification of the end goal you are really just doing things and hoping for the best. Be deliberate in your team formation.
Action: Without specifically applied action a vision is useless. Once you have your vision in place you must determine specific actions that will bring this vision to life. How do you live your definition of high performance communication? How will you deal with conflict in a positive manner? Be deliberate in this phase and the benefit will be huge down the road.
Reflection: As a leader and as a team retrospection is critical. Sometimes we lose our way in the fogy complexity of reality and sometimes the landscape changes under our feet. Without dedicated reflection time these changes may go un-noticed leading your team toward an impending downfall. Take time as a leader and as a team to reflect upon your team, your actions, your results and your vision and course correct when necessary. Fine tune your sails as you navigate the seas of business and you will sail a much truer and faster course.