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Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 1
Team Performance Model: The Seven Steps
1. Orien...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 2
 Uncertainly
Team members are extremely tentative in their app...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 3
Signs of Unresolved Trust Concerns
 Caution
Where there is lit...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 4
tell when they hit the target. A well formed goal is the primar...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 5
freedom and interdependence desired, the more critical it is to...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 6
5. Implementation
As work begins, timing and sequencing become ...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 7
 Missed Deadlines
Because of confusion about responsibilities,...
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 8
Signs of Unresolved High Performance Concerns
 Overload
Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 9
 Staying Power
To endure, to grow and to prosper, teams have t...
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The Seven Steps to Create & Manage High Performance Teams

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Why Projects Fail

The Seven Steps to Create & Manage High Performance Teams

  1. 1. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 1 Team Performance Model: The Seven Steps Drexler/Sibbet 1. Orientation In the Orientation Stage, team members need to get their bearing, finding out what they’re about as team, what givens they have to manage and what kind of a team they are in the process of creating. First, this means getting clear about their purpose as a team, what they have to contribute to the organization. At another level, team members individually need to understand what they have to contribute to the team’s work, what is expected of them, and what meaning their work holds for them. Finally, the team as a whole may develop a sense of identity, an understanding of who it is and what it stands for collectively as a team. The Keys to Orientation  Purpose Purpose is established when team members understand what the group is formed to do; when they see it as an acceptable challenge; and when they have the sense that their purpose is important to the organization. Team members also believe that the team’s purposes are valuable, and will make a contribution to the organization or its clients.  Team Identity Team members identify with the team. The team has norms, values, things that it stands for, and a sense of what it’s about, that give it continuity and identity over time. Team members don’t feel so much “me and them” about each other; more that they are part of a whole that is important to them.  Membership Membership is resolved when people feel included by other members; when they have a sense of ownership and identity with the group’s work; and when they feel a pride of involvement in the team’s enterprise. The people on the team feel accepted by others, and believe that they are fully “in.” They believe that the success of the team depends on them. Signs of Unresolved Orientation Concerns  Disorientation Team members are confused about what the team is supposed to do or what contribution they are supposed to make. Their activity is aimless, restless, and unfocused. They are likely to check out, and occupy themselves with things that are more secure for them. What am I doing here remains a real issue. 1. Orientation WHY am I here? Unresolved •Disorientation •Uncertainty •Fear Resolved •Purpose •Team identify •Membership
  2. 2. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 2  Uncertainly Team members are extremely tentative in their approach. They spend a lot of time trying to agree on what their purposes are, or dealing with the reluctance of some members to move forward in an uncertain situation. The possibility that the team is not moving in the direction the organization intended is always in the back ground.  Fear Team members display a lot of anxiety because they don’t know what to do, and whatever they choose to do, they don’t know if it will meet the needs of those who gave the team its charter. Without any clear purpose, they feel they have little chance of being successful since they don’t know what success is. Fear of failure and fear of the unknown may combine to paralyze a team into inaction. 2. Trust Building The central activity of Stage 2 is to establish bonds of trust between team members. When a team has trust, its members respect and rely on one another, and feel secure in one another’s confidence. As a result, members can level with one another, report what they think and feel about what is going on in the group, and resolve their differences. Trust means not only telling one another the truth, but also being able to count on others to do their part, to have the competence to work effectively, and to be reliable enough that others can count on it that you will do what you say you’re going to do. Trust produces the kind of information sharing that is essential to all of the remaining stages. The Keys to Trust Building  Mutual Regard When team members share mutual regard, they view one another as reliable, competent, and trustworthy; the climate is positive; and people are nonmanipulative and mutually supportive. Team members take one another and what they say at face value; there is little questioning of the motives or good intentions of the others.  Forthrightness A primary expression of trust is the willingness to be open and free in dealing with other group members. Forthrightness involves disclosing relevant information, free sharing of data, and group members saying what they see, think, and feel. Team members are direct and upfront with one another, with little reason to hold back.  Reliability Trust is built when team members view one another as reliable, that they can be counted on. This implies that they have the ability to produce what the team needs from them and are committed to doing so. The belief in the reliability of others comes over time when they consistently follow through and do what they say they will. 2. Trust Building WHO are you? Unresolved •Caution •Mistrust •Facade Resolved •Mutual regard •Forthrightness •Reliability
  3. 3. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 3 Signs of Unresolved Trust Concerns  Caution Where there is little trust, team members think hard before they speak, play it close to the vest, and don’t take many chances within the group. They hesitate to put themselves in a position where they are vulnerable to other team members, or have to rely on the others for support. Each pays attention first to taking care of him or herself.  Mistrust Other team members aren’t viewed as reliable or trustworthy. Team members assume that others don’t have their best interests at heart, and would put self interests about the team’s interests. Individuals are guarded in the group, and attentive to any aggression by the others. They tend to suspect the motives of others, and are sensitive to hidden agendas.  Façade There is a distinct difference between what team members really think and feel, and what they say. A brave front of false smile often hides real anxiety or anger about what is going on in the group. Team members are uncertain about where they stand with one another because they don’t share their genuine thoughts and feelings. 3. Goal Clarification In stage 3 of a team’s development, its work begins to take shape. What the team embraced as it’s fundamental purpose in Stage 1, has to be translated into more specific goals and objectives. The team gives specific answers to the question “What are we doing?” It draws a vision for itself, the end point it is aiming for, that provides the general direction for its work. It also sets clear goals that are milestones along the way, measures of its progress, that form the basis of its contract with the organization and the basis for its accountability, both internally and externally. The Keys to Goal Clarification  Explicit Assumptions In resolving this issue, a team must make its basic assumptions, premises, values, and philosophy explicit. In doing so, it can recognize areas of agreement and confirm them; and notice areas of difference and reconcile them. Having a clear set of values and assumptions sets the stage for a team to select goals and set priorities.  Clear, Integrated Goals Before a team can effectively join in action, its members have to share an understanding and agreement about what the team is trying to do. The key is to have specific goals that team members see and support, so they know just what they are aiming for and they can 3. Goal Clarification WHAT are we doing? Unresolved •Apathy •Skepticism •Irrelevant competition Resolved •Explicitassumptions •Clear, integrated goals •Shared vision
  4. 4. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 4 tell when they hit the target. A well formed goal is the primary draw on the team’s energy.  Shared Vision A concerted effort by the whole team means everyone needs to know clearly where the team is heading. Excellent teams have a clear vision of the future for themselves that defines their contribution to their organization and their clients, and how they see themselves and are seen by others. A vision shared by everyone on the team sets the direction for all of their work, and gives it really focus. Signs of Unresolved Goal Concerns  Apathy If team members can’t see the targets they are shooting for, or don’t care much to hit them, their interest level will be low and they won’t invest much energy in their work. The fact is if you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t matter much how fast or which way you go. If goals are uncertain, team members will tend to be disengaged, and only do what is absolutely necessary.  Skepticism When goals aren’t clear, people on the team take everything with a grain of salt. They suspect that the leaders of the team don’t know what they are doing, and so they question or resist any decision or call to action. If team members disagree with the team’s stated goals, they question the wisdom or prudence of those who set the team’s course.  Irrelevant Competition In the absence of clear goals, team members may pass the time or amuse themselves by playing games, challenging authority, and nitpicking arguments. All of these are ways of resisting the team moving in an unwanted direction or making a point in an activity that my otherwise seem pointless. 4. Commitment Stage 4 is pivotal in a group’s development. At this stage, a team sets itself to do its work, makes the necessary choices, lets go of differences among team members, and finds the resolve it needs to carry it to success. The remaining fundamental questions are answered: decisions are made, resources are allocated, priorities are set, roles are formed, responsibilities are shared, and the team agrees on how it will do business. The crux of Stage 4 is genuine commitment by the members to what the group is set to do. At this point it’s important to remember that the significance of subsequent stages depends on the goals of the team and level of interdependence required to meet them. Some teams are simply tackling one specific problem and will disband after a Stage four decision. Others need to produce ongoing results. Some will consciously choose high performance. The more 4. Commitment HOW will we do it? Resolved •Assigned roles •Allocated resources •Decisions made Unresolved •Dependence •Resistance
  5. 5. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 5 freedom and interdependence desired, the more critical it is to master the earlier stages, which are the foundation of high performance. The Keys to Commitment  Assigned Roles Once a team has identified all the things that have to be done for it to reach its goals, it has to clear about who is responsible for each activity or function. Sorting all of these responsibilities out defines the role that each team member will play. Roles include not only task responsibilities, but authority to take action or make commitments on behalf of the team.  Allocated Resources The bottom line test of an organization’s commitment to the team is to provide the resources needed to do the job. The challenge for the team is to use its resources well, to set clear priorities, and to make the most of what it has. Teams that manage their resources well are able to strike a balance between what they have and what they need to do.  Decisions Made To excel, a team has to know not only where it is going but how it is going to get there. This includes understanding how decisions are made, how control and influence are shared, how communication flows, and what norms and ground rules will guide the team’s work. Settling all of these issues gives shape and structure to the team’s work, and enables it to focus its attention on the work at hand. Signs of Unresolved Commitment Concerns  Dependence If team members aren’t fully committed, they may in effect disown responsibility for what the team is doing. Their response might be to leave all decisions and responsibility on the team leaders, or a couple of members. The attitude might be “Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I just work here.” Team members may take responsibility for particular tasks, but not for the overall results.  Resistance Lack of commitment may be expressed by a general pattern of resistance to whatever the team is doing. Team members may constantly play devil’s advocate, question, oppose, complain, and snipe at any suggestion to move forward. The general tone in the group becomes antagonistic and a bit hostile.
  6. 6. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 6 5. Implementation As work begins, timing and sequencing become an overriding concern “who does what, when, and where?” Within whatever overall direction is chosen in Stage four, action plans with task, time, and objectives need to be articulated and followed. The clearer the overall organization is to people, the more individual creativity can be applied on specific tasks during implementation. There are many ways to achieve this kind of integration, but all involve aligning on a clear order of work and systems for communicating progress. Conflict, confusion, and missed deadlines indicate lack of resolution of these issues. Team productivity and discipline indicate Stage five issues have been met. The Keys to Implementation  Clear Processes People on the team know how things are to be done. Standard operation procedures have been defined where they are needed. The sequence of activities is clear, especially where team members depend on one another to complete one task so that the next one can begin. There is a system to plan and schedule work, and to monitor its progress.  Alignment The hallmark of team with good alignment is smoothness in its work. Activities of various members blend together easily, with few instances of duplication or contradiction in their work. Internal communications among members are sufficient, timing is good, and work progresses in an orderly way.  Disciplined Execution The team stays on track, work operation are crisp, and there are a minimum of errors or misplays. There is a feeling of mastery and having things under control. There is a place for everything and everything in its place. Effort is concentrated, and little of it is wasted. Signs of Unresolved Implementation Concerns  Conflict and Confusion Team members aren’t sure what to do, how or when to do it. Sometimes more than one person is doing the same thing, sometimes no one does it. Sometimes team members act or speak contrary to one another. A lot of time is spent reinventing how things are to be done, redoing work, or catching up with things that should have been done but weren’t.  Nonalignment The activities of team members clash rather than blend smoothly. People on the team may not even know what the others are doing when they need to know. Changes of plans aren’t communicated to everyone, and things tend to fall through the cracks. There seems to be little order or smoothness in the way activities fall out. 5. Implemen- tation WHO does WHAT, WHEN, WHERE? Unresolved •Conflict/confusion •Nonalignment •Missed deadlines Resolved •Clear processes •Alignment •Disciplined execution
  7. 7. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 7  Missed Deadlines Because of confusion about responsibilities, timing, or unevenness in the work distribution, the team doesn’t keep its time commitments. Target dates pass, and as the team gets off schedule, later dates have no meaning. One missed deadline leads to another. The team may soon be working without a meaningful or understood time frame at all. 6. High Performance When team members have developed an implicit trust among themselves and have mastered the technologies of their work, a new dimension of performance becomes open to them. Their inner connectedness supports a high level of synergy and creativity. The easiness of their interactions enables them to respond nimbly to changing conditions and produce extraordinary results that draw the response, “Wow!” The way members of high performing teams work together is distinctive. They interact easily, with little defensiveness, and an intuitive sense of how to be supportive of one another. They are accomplished in their work and at ease with it. They respond to one another, bring out the best in one another, and in doing so lift the team’s performance to a higher level. The Keys to High Performance  Spontaneous Interaction Spontaneity in interactions tends to arise when team members don’t have to conform to a lot of conventions in their behavior nor submit to numerous rules and reviews. They are able to be themselves and exercise a good deal of freedom in the way they work. There is a lot of easy give-and-take, and creativity emerges from their willingness to follow the flow of their ideas in an unguarded way.  Synergy A high performing team out does itself. The result is greater than the sum of the parts. Synergistic teams tend to break the boundaries in some sense: they go beyond the aggregate abilities of individual members, exceed expectations, overcome situational constraints. The results they produce are surpassing, and they and others around them know it.  Surpassing Results High performing teams produce exceptional results. They don’t do the impossible, but they do the best that can be done under the circumstances, and most would agree that they achieve what many teams do not. 6. High Performance WOW! Unresolved •Overload •Disharmony Resolved •Spontaneous interaction •Synergy •Surpassing results
  8. 8. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 8 Signs of Unresolved High Performance Concerns  Overload Sometimes teams take on too much, don’t have a good sense of their limits (even high performing teams have them!), and overload the system that may have carried them to high performance. A team may also become preoccupied with itself as a team, become so focused on the process and internal communication that it loses sight of what it’s about.  Disharmony It is difficult to sustain high performance over a long period of time. As goals are achieved, members’ interests change, a new vision is created, roles change, and a team may lose the harmony it once had. A high performing team may simply become discouraged that it doesn’t always sustain the same performance level, and begin scapegoating within the group. 7. Renewal High performance teams lose their edge or complete their tasks and inevitable ask “Why continue?” Earlier answers to key concerns no longer fit. People arrive and leave, and the group alignment can change. Burnout is a common result of not renewing purposefulness and vision while keeping up a high performance pace. But when a team commits to learning and renewal, congruence of teams and their visions over a long period is possible. Renewal might consist of regularly setting aside time for team practices, or having special annual celebrations of completion and realignment. Often it is the link with another cycle of team process which begins back at orientation, moving through trust and goals back to commitment. In a team-based culture, this journey becomes richer and easier as members anticipate issues and deal with them from conscious competence. They Keys to Renewal  Recognition and Celebration To recognize the work of individuals or the team as a whole is to see it for what it is and respond to it. When team members or the whole team produce work that is valuable, someone should say so, and honor it. That may be the organization, the team leaders, or the members themselves. The recognition may be in words or a reciprocal gift. Celebration is a special way of publicly recognizing work.  Change Mastery Teams that last have to be adaptable. They change with the times, confront new challenges, experience turnover in membership, and deal with shifting conditions. Teams need to accept change as inevitable and welcome it as refreshing and growth producing rather than resisting or complaining about it. The most successful teams anticipate and prepare for change. Unresolved •Boredom •Burnout Resolved •Recognition & celebration •Change mastery •Sharing power 7. Renewal WHY continue ?
  9. 9. Team Performance Guide 2000 Allan Drexler & David Sibbet 9  Staying Power To endure, to grow and to prosper, teams have to find ways to keep themselves fresh and energetic. Teams with staying power frequently revisit their overriding purposes and make sure they keep them in sight. Teams that keep their broad purposes in focus are better able to sustain their commitment. A key to staying power is pacing, and taking the time to pause, renew, and regroup. Signs of Unresolved Renewal Issues  Boredom Once a team has become successful, reproducing the same successes is less rewarding. Some of the challenge is gone, the problems that were once engaging are now solved, and things may become routine. People may start just going through the motions, relieved for a while that things are easier, but eventually they get bored and need new goals and challenges to keep them engaged.  Burnout Success may breed success, but it also attracts work. Teams may make more commitments than they can keep, or take on (or be assigned) more work than they can do. For a while, a team may run to keep up, working long hours, pausing infrequently, and taking little time for reflection. Sooner or later, the effects or wear and tear show up, members start to burn out, and performance deteriorates.