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Creating Teams: Ask the Professionals

By Michael Heller Employee Engagement

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How do you create high performing teams? That’s the million dollar question and there’s no simple answer. Every team is different and is comprised of varying personalities, communication styles and motivators. There is no secret recipe to creating a high performing team or to improve employee performance, but insights from people that have been there and done that can lead us in the right direction.

This question was originally featured on Quora.

Q: What is the single most important aspect in creating and managing a high performing team?
Dave Carvajal is the CEO of Dave Partners, a New York City based executive search and advisory firm for companies in the internet, eCommerce and digital media sectors:

“Create alignment around a vision for an extraordinary future in which your team…will conquer a market and change the world…Create alignment among your co-founders…among your Board of Directors and your leadership team…and your entire staff…clearly articulate goals, metrics, performance drivers and incentives that all tie back to a clear statement of mission. Do this through weekly one-to-one meetings, leadership meetings, direct conversations, all-hands open forum discussions, and small team leadership…
…human systems that are critical to a high performing team also include onboarding, training & development, communication of the organization’s values…”

Tie your performance into one mission statement by doing this: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet
Wendy Soon is head of Next Generation Sequencing Platform at the Genome Institute of Singapore. She is also the Cofounder of Vorkspace, a remote team software platform provider:
“Heterogeneity….It’s not the first thing people think about in creating a great team, but it is the one factor that differentiates a good team from a superstar team…good team leads to having more perspectives of the same problem — generating innovation and creativity….We thus have to consciously and actively seek team members that have heterogeneous experiences and personalities…With minorities in the group…final decisions are better, and ideas have greater complexity…”
Jessica Abelson is the Associate Product Marketing Manager at Atlassian, a provider of enterprise software for software developers and project managers:

“COMMUNICATION…When teams communicate effectively, there is little room for mistrust, misalignment, and lack of commitment. Not only does communication bond a team and keep them working toward shared goals, but also helps everyone get the best work accomplished….As a manager, setting up frequent team meetings AND 1-on-1s with team members is crucial for success…Constant communication not only assures everyone is doing their work, but also encourages people to go above and beyond.”

There's little room for mistrust and misalignment when teams communicate effectively: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

David Deane-Spread is the Founder of Metattude, an Australian-based Leadership Coaching agency, as well as the Co-Founder and chief educator of Advanced Reality Based Training Techniques (ARBTT):

“The single most important step is…selecting the right people for the right reasons for the right roles…The vision, values alignment, performance and sustainability will be better formed and shared when these people are in place first.”
Christopher Donahue is the Founder, CTO and CDO of Stellarpaths, an information technology consultancy based out of South Australia:

“There is not just one important component…at the heart of an Exceptional Performance Team Dynamic is: Discipline…Discipline promotes decisiveness while ensuring direct accountability…In a Team Dynamic individuals are informed and aligned around a shared vision. They have a high level of mutual trust with…focus on continuous improvement.”

Important components at the heart of an exceptional performance team dynamic: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

The biggest takeaway from these expert opinions is the alignment of goals and teams, diversity and discipline are all elements of high performing teams. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building these teams, but there are some common denominators we can take away from this discussion: trust and communication are key to creating teams. It’s how we go about attaining those two things, however, that determines whether or not a team will become high performing or not.

Michael Heller

Posted By Michael Heller

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