Relearning the Three ‘R’s To Build High Performing Teams

Insights | 22 December 2017

The working environment can be an unusual one – many workplaces teach us to put aside the characteristics that make us uniquely human: trust, free speech, creativity, and to take risks.

Instead, we are encouraged to don a uniform, speak a formal language and behave differently to adhere to a set of unspoken rules. Largely it’s to get things done in a professional environment and to unite us when we are all coming from different backgrounds and perspectives. Yet the tone is absolutely defined by the leaders of the organisation.

So, if the CEO and their executive team doesn’t communicate openly or well, the chances are that this cascades throughout the organisation. And if being critical is in a CEO’s DNA, then that too permeates the C suite and into the workplace culture more generally.

We’ve all worked at either of these organisations over the course of our careers, and while that may have worked in yesteryear, businesses that want to survive and succeed with today’s velocity of change and disruption, need to unlearn and actively relearn what constitutes a business that people want to interact with.

A recent article by Harvard Business Review looked at the attributes for high-performing teams, and surmised that psychological safety must be placed at the core of this. It makes sense, yet many workplaces have forgotten this, especially during periods of change and transformation. We think there are a few more skills some workplaces need to relearn:

Be Real

Your high performing team is made up of skilled individuals, that’s why you have them. Process is critical to avoid error and build scale, but don’t focus so much on technology and process that you create a robotic team. Focus on automating that which frees up your teams to be individuals and deliver value and difference.

Demonstrate Resilience

Disruption happens, criticism is flung, fear is felt, fingers are pointed – the team that recognises and names all of this, is the team that thrives because it’s resilient enough to anticipate it, manage and overcome it, and still come out on top.

Taking Risks

Risk is still frowned upon in so many organisations despite all the good talk. If your team is not taking risks, then you’re probably just keeping up, at best. Sure, that’s good enough for a while, but to thrive, there has to be change, and change really only happens when there’s an element of risk, combined with solid ‘rinse and repeat’. Tweet: For your team to thrive, there has to be change, and change really only happens when there’s an element of risk, combined with solid ‘rinse and repeat’. [@PMPartners]

We’re often brought in to bring projects back on track and asked to look at the tangible costs and deliverables to diagnose the solution. What frequently stands out is that the project or organisation has lost the human attributes that create high performing teams and allow them to flourish.

To get your team performing at their best, please give us a call today on 1300 70 13 14 to find out how we can help.

About The Author

Geoff Howard, Program Director at PM-Partners group

Geoff has more than 35 years’ experience in the consulting, project management services and IT industry spanning marketing, insurance, finance, outsource and Government sectors. He has held a number of senior executive roles while retaining his trademark ‘hands on’ and structured approach to management and delivery assignments. The assignments have included strategy, systems development, systems and operational reviews, project and program management.

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