Attributes of High-Performing Teams

Simply, following are the attributes of high-performing teams:

Performance outcomes

They produce something; they don’t just discuss it. Without accomplishment, teams dissolve and become ineffective over time.

Specific, shared purpose and vision

The more specific the purpose, the more commitment, trust and coordination can occur. Individuals don’t work for themselves they work for one another in pursuit of the shared purpose.

The shared purpose can also be the same as a motivating vision of what the team should achieve.

Mutual, internal accountability

The sense of internal accountability is far greater than any accountability imposed by a boss or outsider. Self-evaluation and accountability characterize a high-performing team.

Blurring of formal distinctions

Team members do whatever is needed to contribute to the task, regardless of previous positions or titles. Team membership and team roles are more predominant than outside status.

Coordinated, shared work roles

Individuals always work in coordination with others on the team. The desired output is a single group product, not a set of individual products.

Inefficiency leading to efficiency

Because teams allow for lots of participation and sharing, mutual influence about purpose, and blurring of roles, they may initially be inefficient. As the team develops, because they come to know one another so well and can anticipate each other’s moves, they become much more efficient than single people working alone.

Extraordinary high quality

Teams produce outcomes above and beyond current standards of performance. They surprise and delight their various consistencies with quality levels not expected and never before obtained. An intolerance of mediocrity exists, so standards of performance are very high.

Creative continuous improvement

Large-scale innovations as well as never-ending small improvements characterize the team’s processes and activities. Dissatisfaction with the status quo leads to a constant flow of new ideas, experimentation and a quest for progress.

High credibility and trust

Team members trust one another implicitly, defend members who are not present, and form interdependent relationships with one another. Personal integrity and honesty characterize team activities and team member interactions.

Clarity of core competence

The unique talents and strategic advantages of the team and its members are clear. The ways in which these competencies can be utilized to further the team’s objectives are well understood. Extraneous activities and deflections from the team’s core mission are given low priority.



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