Four Conditions for High-Performance Teams

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to go over the four conditions for high-performance teams. These are compelling direction, shared mindset, strong structure, and supportive context.

High-Performance Teams

Is there a secret sauce high-performance teams use to achieve so much? In some sense, yes. High-performance teams do share a lot of similarities, like intelligent co-workers, excellent management, and more.

But that's not all.

In this lesson, we'll go over some strategies that help 4-D teams, those that are diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic, achieve a high level of performance.

Compelling Direction

One strategy is known as compelling direction. In other words, there must be a challenging, attainable, consequential, and consensus goal towards which a team is focused on.

Let's break that definition down. The goal is challenging. This is because goals that aren't challenging are difficult to get motivated for. However, you don't want the goal to be next to impossible to achieve. This may lower morale knowing that you're working towards something highly improbable. So, the goal should be attainable.

The goal should also be consequential. This could mean any number of things. It could mean:

  • It helps the world at large. So, an extrinsic motivational factor exists.
  • It gets an employee something, like a promotion. So, an intrinsic factor is at play.

Finally, by consensus, this means everyone must be on the same page on exactly what it is the team is focused on. In other words, there must be a clear direction everyone is headed in.

Strong Structure

Another important condition is known as the strong structure. This implies that the team's member composition, norms, and tasks provide for a solid foundation that encourages positive group dynamics.

Again, let's dig a little deeper as to what this means. Teams with a strong structure:

  • Are balanced. Their team members all add value of some sort that helps support the weaknesses of other team members.
  • There is diversity between the team members, to allow for different perspectives and an influx of creativity.
  • They have guiding principles and a mission statement, both of which are well-established and help promote teamwork.
  • Tasks are made inherently motivational via numerous strategies, such as a lack of micromanagement.

Now that we understand the structure, it is important to look at the team organization.

Supportive Context

High-performing 4D teams also have supportive organizations behind them, or a supportive context in general. This means that an organization should have well-placed mechanisms, processes, and tools in place to support a 4D team.

Such mechanisms can include:

  • A performance-based reward system.
  • Resources, as in, enough funds, personnel, and services/products to ensure the team has everything it needs to succeed.
  • Continuing education to keep a team's skills top-notch.

Now that you understand the supportive context, it is important to look at the mindset of a high-performance team.

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