When Teams Work Best - Focus Performance Systems

When Teams Work Best
A book researched and written
by Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson
A review by Focus Performance Systems, Inc.
When Teams Work Best
Background on the research
600 teams and 6000 team members were
Over 35,000 assessments were completed.
Both qualitative and quantitative data was gathered.
Types of teams interviewed were very diverse.
Book published by Sage Publications.
When Teams Work Best
Research uncovered 5 Key Dynamics:
Attributes, Behavior, Skill of Team Members.
Strengths, Weaknesses and Dynamics of Team
Strengths, Weaknesses and Effectiveness of Team
Decision Making & Problem Solving.
Attributes, behaviors and Skills of the Team Leader.
Impact and Influence of Organizational
Environment on team success.
When Teams Work Best:
Team Members
What makes a good Team Member?
1. Core Competency: experience, problem-solving
ability, decision-making ability, interpersonal
awareness and skill.
2. Personal Attributes: openness, supportiveness,
action orientation, positive personal style.
These are behaviorial styles
– DiSC styles.
When Teams Work Best:
Team Relationships
What makes positive Team Relationships?
Constructive for all team members.
Productive: brings out the best thinking in all team
Mutual Understanding: seeking to understand
others’ perspectives.
Self Corrective.
Survey Results: in 4,500 interviews, people rated
themselves far more favorably at relationships than
they were rated by others!
When Teams Work Best:
Team Problem Solving & Decision Making
What makes effective Team Problem Solving & Decision
FOCUS: “Effective teams are very clear about what they
are doing at each phase of the problem solving and
collaborative process.”
CLIMATE: Positive, inclusive, focus on the issue (not
the person).
COMMUNICATION: Open communications – issues
and sub-issues are identified, discussed, prioritized and
acted on.
When Teams Work Best:
Team Leader
What makes a good Team Leader?
1. Focus: Focuses on the team purpose and goals.
2. Collaboration: Ensures a collaborative climate.
3. Confidence: Builds confidence in team members.
4. Technical Knowledge: Demonstrates technical
5. Priorities: Sets priorities effectively.
6. Performance: Manages performance of the team.
When Teams Work Best:
Organizational Environment
What makes a positive Organizational Environment?
1. Management Practices that:
Set direction.
Align efforts.
Deliver results.
2. Structure & Processes that ensure the best
decisions are made, as quickly as possible, by the
right people.
3. Systems that provide:
Useful information.
Accurate data for decision making.
When Teams Work Best:
Effective teams depend on:
Individual factors, abilities and attitudes.
Group processes for managing both tasks and relationships.
Organizational support and commitment to provide critical structure and
Improvement in any single team dimension will
yield positive results:
Focus on the high priority areas first.
Use the ‘Team Assessment’, Problem Solving Scorecard or other
diagnostic tools to get started.
FOCUS Tools can help! (www.FocusTools.com)
Provide proven tools and techniques to improve team effectiveness in
every key dimension of success.