Over 27 years, Harvard professors Richard Hackman, Ruth Wageman and Erin Lehman researched many aspects of effective (and less effective) teams. They found six conditions which accurately predict 80% of a team’s performance.
At Inside Motivation we support organizations and team leaders to optimise these 6 conditions in their teams and coach them to the fullest of their potential, delivering better outcomes for employees and organizations alike.
The first set of elements we work on are the Essentials:
1. Real team – does everyone know who’s in the team, does the team expect to be in place long enough to learn how to work together and are members reliant on each other to accomplish their team purpose?
2. Compelling purpose – is purpose clear, appropriately challenging and is it important to the organisation?
3. Right People – does the team have the right skills and range of perspectives needed to perform creatively and well?
When the essentials are in place we can start working on the first two enablers:
1. Sound Structure – is the task designed for teams, is the team size optimal and does it have effective norms and expectations?
2. Supportive Context – does the environment in which the team works support the team’s performance with information, consultation, resources and rewards/recognition?
Only when the leader has put these conditions in place do we moved on to:
3. Team Coaching – this can be internally or externally delivered and should focus mainly on improving task processes and reinforcing good behaviour
These six conditions form the foundation of a team's ability to work together. This is measured as shared commitment to the work and the team (Effort), using uniquely suited approaches to the work (Strategy) and using all team members' capabilities well (Knowledge and Skills).
To build a great team we must understand what a great team is. Hackman, Wageman and Lehman define effective teams using three criteria – the team's performance to the satisfaction of its clients (Task Performance), the team’s improvement over time (Quality of Group process) and individual learning, growth and satisfaction as a result of membership in the team (Member Satisfaction).
Inside Motivation believe in data driven initiatives to target activity in the areas which will have the greatest impact on effectiveness. We therefore use the Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) developed by the same Harvard research team.
The TDS has been peer reviewed and tested on a range of teams (top leadership teams, intelligence analysis teams, engineering and design, healthcare teams and many more) and has proven its validity by accurately predicting the teams’ performances. Interestingly, in 2008 the researchers found that only 24% of top leadership teams were high performing.
Leaders using this survey and team coaching support will see many benefits including
· The teams will deliver significantly improved outcomes for your business and your customers
· Teams will be focused on the team purpose, and not individual agendas
· Team members will share their viewpoints and seek to understand the viewpoints of others
· Clear data to help the team discuss underlying issues and progress without dysfunctional conflict
· Targeted action planning for concrete team growth and development
· The program minimises leaders’ time spent focused on interpersonal relationships