Thought Leadership

The Stages to Becoming a Higher Performing Team: A Primer


The path to becoming a higher performing team and culture follows predictable stages. Recognizing and understanding this truth, if fully embraced, can fundamentally change the way you look at your organization. And more important, it will enable you to consciously and deliberately create the conditions for developing a high-performing team and culture.

The pathway to success is simple. Organizational development has predictable and knowable stages. Each stage has it's strengths, weaknesses and limitations. And there are clear milestones that need to be reached to move to the next higher stage of development. With this knowledge, you can map the path forward and establish clear and specific next steps for moving down that path.

Just as people, cultures and natural systems go through developmental stages...

How to deal with stress in the workplace - The SCARF model

Work Stress

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the blog post Simple Stress Management Tools. It was so popular that I decided this week to follow-up on this topic.

I thought it might also be appropriate to introduce you to Nick Petrie. He is a senior faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership and is a guru on the latest leadership research. I connected with Nick and he gave me permission to share his latest blog video (below) -  “The SCARF Model - How to deal with stress at work” I recommend it on so many levels, if only for another cool accent! His blog is also worthy of your attention...

Frequently Asked Questions About The Four Evolutionary Stages Of High-Performing Teams

We have applied the evolutionary stages of high-performing teams model with hundreds of teams. This post includes frequently asked questions.  

The Evolutionary Stages To Becoming A High-Performing Team

As they develop, all executive teams go through four predictable stages. The stages can be shown on a clock. And, clock times can be used to represent developmental milestones. At each stage, a different logic for success dominates.

Translating The Formula For High-Performing Teams

How To Measure High-Performing Teams? 

In his well-known business book "Good to Great", Jim Collins summarized the formula for high-performing teams as “getting the right leaders in the right seats on the bus”!

To make this formula quantifiable, it can be translated as follows: High-performing teams are an ideal state in which team culture and business models are aligned to make higher sustainable performance inevitable.

A high-performing team is a state in which four key conditions are optimized...

Leaders Are Accountable For Business Culture (e.g., Fabrice Tourre Followed The Leader)

Fabrice Tourre 
So, Fabrice Tourre, it really was a crime.
In the end, Wall Street greed drove Mr. Tourre to lie and deceive. -- SEC lawyer Matthew Martens 

Former Goldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre was found liable today. He knowingly deceived investors about the real value of the mortgage-related financial products he was selling. They were toxic bombs. We now all know the story. So do tens of millions of others who suffered from the implosion of a deregulated financial sector's ability to create wealth for itself and pass the risk on to, well, tens of millions of others.

I'll let HuffPo reflect my frustration of the gov't's ability to bust only a foot soldier so far...

Most Team's Aren't High-Performing Teams

Businessman LoserThe belief that working in teams makes us more creative and innovative — that teams are a better way to get things done — is deeply entrenched. However, I can tell you from working with hundreds of leaders and teams, it is often not true, but it can be fixed!

From experience, there are three kinds of teams:

First, there are a small number of teams that are committed to the personal struggles of their leaders above sustainable high-performance. As a result, these kinds of teams can be dysfunctional nightmares. However, such teams tend to self-destruct so they are relatively rare.

Second, there are teams...