Richard Hawkes's blog

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...

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...

Authenticity Is The Cutting Edge Of Culture

The topic of this video blog is − how the cutting edge of culture is authentic communication. Indeed, everywhere you turn today, you hear about authenticity. There are authenticity trends in publishing, online search, marketing, leadership development and cultural evolution. What’s going on? Why is this explosion of authenticity happening?

Healthy Conflict and Healthy Suffering Are Oxymorons

I Wish My Teams Would Clean The Cat Box With Pride -- Not Gonna Happen

Healthy conflict and healthy suffering are oxymorons. Do you believe that conflict or suffering make you stronger? In my experience, an attribute of highly effective leaders they know their role is to leverage creative tension, not to cause suffering. Creative tension is a different experience from suffering. It is one that makes you stronger. However, it is easy to confuse this different experience with suffering.  

Conflict Is Different From Creative Tension Conflict is a clash between an individual’s personality and something or someone else. Conflict is personal. It is about who you are. Whereas, creative tension is a clash between the role that an individual has chosen and something or someone else. It is not about who you are but about the role you choose to play. Conflict and suffering go together. However, with creative tension, suffering is optional.  

Team Culture and Business Model Alignment Equals Business Immortality


Team culture and business model alignment means businesses can live forever.  In fact, according to Sterling Seagrave's classic book "Lords of the Rim", about Chinese companies in Hong Kong, some offshore Chinese companies have been chartered and in business for thousands of years. However, their team cultures and business models certainly don't look as they did when they began. In some cases, what were once noodle shops have evolved into global electronics manufacturers or banks.

One of the key characteristics of a high-performance enterprise team is the ability to adapt to the environment. To adapt requires continuous innovation. And, continuous innovation requires alignment between top team culture and business model(s)...

Speech Acts Are How You And I Shape Reality

The Declaration of Independence Was A Speech Act

Speech acts are how you and I shape reality. Phrases like these are called speech acts: “will you marry me?”, “I’m willing to help“ and “the defendant is sentenced to death by hanging”.  The US Declaration of Independence was also a speech act -- one with profound implications.

After a speech act, big or small, the world shifts. And, as a result, new possible futures emerge, or collapse. Indeed, the ability to create speech acts is what makes humans different from animals.  

Effective leaders recognize when a speech act has occurred. They know how to intentionally create speech acts. And, they quickly adapt to the implications of how the world has changed after a speech act...