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

High Performing Teams

Richard Hawkes observes that:

  • High performing teams are built by design. They are intentional and purposeful. They don't happen by accident.
  • High performing teams are not too big or too small. Teams should ideally be about 6-10 people. Twelve should be the limit. Too many people on a team inhibits performance and reduces effectiveness.
  • High performing teams are led. In natural teams, leadership might form organically. But in a high performing team, there is a leader who is explicitly responsible and accountable. That doesn't mean leadership has to be "command and control," but neither can it be vague, spontaneous, or organic.
  • High performing teams are authentically a team. This may seem obvious, but it's crucial. Members must authentically feel that they're "in it together." The journey of high performing teams is deeply shared. There is a sense of collective purpose, not just an individual one.
  • High performing team members are accountable to each other, develop camaraderie and trust, and feel a sense that each person has the other's back.
  • High performing teams are on a mission. Perhaps most important, they don't just exist in a vacuum. They are on a mission — a continuous improvement journey, fulfilling their own purpose and the purpose of the organization.
Introduction  Introduction

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