Teams fail for any number of reasons, including poor planning, unclear goals, or a lack of training. Research by The Ken Blanchard Companies has identified the top 10 reasons for a team failing to reach its potential. See if any of these sound familiar:
- Lack of a sufficient charter
- Unsure of what requires team effort
- Lack of mutual accountability
- Lack of resources
- Lack of effective and/or shared leadership
- Lack of planning
- Lack of management support
- Inability to deal with conflict
- Lack of focus on creativity and excellence
- Lack of training
How do you avoid these pitfalls? Make sure that your next team identifies and monitors the group’s performance in seven key areas. To help you remember the seven characteristics of a high performing team, you can use the acronym PERFORM.
Purpose and values. Does the new team have a compelling vision, strong sense of purpose, and a common set of values?
Empowerment. Does the team have the authority to act and make decisions? Have clear boundaries been set?
Relationships and communication. Do team members feel they can take risks and share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings without fear?
Flexibility. Are team members adaptable to changing conditions—including both the outside environment and within the team itself?
Optimal productivity. Is there a commitment to high standards and quality? Do team members hold each other accountable and strive for continual improvement?
Recognition and appreciation. Do team members give and receive positive feedback and recognition that reinforces behavior, builds esteem, and enhances a feeling of value and accomplishment?
Morale. Are team members enthusiastic about their work, proud of their results, and feel pride in belonging to the team?
The Journey to High Performance
All teams are unique and complex living systems. High performance is a journey—a predictable progression from a collection of individuals to team members who begin to think in terms of “we” rather than “you” and “me.” Identify and monitor these seven characteristics to get the most out of your next team.