This Guest paper was submitted for publication April 25, 2022.
It is copyright to Richard S. Hawkes.
Published here July 2022

Introduction | High Performing Teams 
Break Free of the Swirl | Essential Conversations | Summary

Richard S. Hawkes received a B.A. in Computer Science and German Literature from Hamilton College, and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Organizational Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Growth and Strategy Expert and Founder of Growth River, an international consultancy that guides leaders and teams to create higher performance in businesses and organizations. Clients include Edward Jones, GENEWIZ, Hitachi, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mars. For more information visit


Every leader knows that high performing teams are essential for an organization's success. But why do companies struggle to build powerful, focused teams that work well together? What's the secret?

Transformation expert Richard Hawkes, author of Navigate the Swirl (Wiley, April 19, 2022), explains that the key to building high performing teams is getting leadership and culture right before diving into roles, strategies, and execution. He observes that: "A great strategy in an ineffective culture is worth less than a mediocre strategy in a learning culture."


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