» High Performing Teams
In my previous post on High Performing Teams, I shared a framework for team maturity from the Jon Katzenbach book, The Wisdom of Teams. That post outlined 5 levels of team maturity and performance, with High-Performance Team at the top of the list. The teams in the high-performance category shared a number of traits including a focus on performance, diversity, accountability, and team members' investment in each other.
Are you interested in creating high performing teams? Would you like to understand why some Agile teams perform better than others, or to objectively evaluate the condition of your current team? In The Wisdom of Teams; Creating the High Performance Organization, Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith dive deep into team anatomy and paint a vivid picture of what makes a high-performing team. One of the more useful takeaways for me was the framework for understanding team performance relative to maturity.
I was excited to read this recent New York Times Article describing research done by Google to determine the characteristics of the best performing teams. Google studied the data on team performance to glean what they could about how to create high performing teams. The results were surprisingly simple: the best teams created safety for their team members. The implications are important.
The second edition of my emotional intelligence book includes a new chapter, Success with Agile Teams. Anyone who has used Agile methods though will attest to the fact that leading Agile teams is not the same as leading traditional teams. Agile teams are expected to be self-organizing. This doesn’t mean there are no leaders, but it requires a style of leadership that is less prescriptive and more supportive. It is often called Servant Leadership, and it requires a lot of emotional intelligence.
Most people have no idea what motivates teams or creates high-performing teams. And even if you tell them, they don't seem to remember or care.
I've had more than a few conversations over the last few years that led me to this conclusion, and I have heard some pretty outlandish and offensive things.