When Teams Work Best - Focus Performance Systems

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When Teams Work Best
A book researched and written
by Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson
A review by Focus Performance Systems, Inc.
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When Teams Work Best
Background on the research

600 teams and 6000 team members were
interviewed.

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.
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When Teams Work Best
Research uncovered 5 Key Dynamics:

Attributes, Behavior, Skill of Team Members.

Strengths, Weaknesses and Dynamics of Team
Relationships.

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.
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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.
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When Teams Work Best:
Team Relationships
What makes positive Team Relationships?
1.
Constructive for all team members.
2.
Productive: brings out the best thinking in all team
members.
3.
Mutual Understanding: seeking to understand
others’ perspectives.
4.
Self Corrective.
Survey Results: in 4,500 interviews, people rated
themselves far more favorably at relationships than
they were rated by others!
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When Teams Work Best:
Team Problem Solving & Decision Making
What makes effective Team Problem Solving & Decision
Making?

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.
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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
‘know-how’.
5. Priorities: Sets priorities effectively.
6. Performance: Manages performance of the team.
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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.
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When Teams Work Best:
Conclusions…….
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
systems.
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.
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