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Team Excellence

Survey and Teaming Model

Surprisingly few teams are able to achieve and sustain a level of excellence. Research into teams has found that excellent teams consistently display several core characteristics further defined below.  These elements can be used to drive a team survey process and serve as a foundation for team dialogue.


Clear, Elevating Goal.  Members of successful teams share and support a CLEAR, ELEVATING GOAL.  Elements of this include, 1) a crystal clear goal to be achieved, 2) worthwhile and challenging objectives, 3) clear consequences linked to achievement, and 4) a goal that is compelling enough to create a strong team identify.

Results-Driven Structure. A successful team benefits from the right kind of RESULTS-DRIVEN STRUCTURE. The team design is determined by results to be achieved, there are clear lines of authority and accountability, decision-making encourages fact-based judgments, and communication system is in place in which: - information is easily accessible and credible - informal opportunities exist to raise issues, and - issues and decisions are clearly documented.

Competent Team Members. Teams work better when there is a perception that members are COMPETENT; that they 1) possess essential skills to accomplish objectives, 2) demonstrate strong desire to contribute, 3) are confident in abilities of others, and 4) collaborate effectively through direct and supportive ways. 

Unified Commitment. Members believe: 1) Achieving the team goal is a higher priority than any individual objective. 2) Personal success is achieved through team success. 3) Willingness exists across the team to devote whatever effort is necessary.

A Collaborative Climate exists when: 1) members trust each other to share information and feedback, 2) compensate for each other's shortcomings, 3) trust each other to act competently and responsibly, and 4) the team embraces a common set of guiding values.

Standards of Excellence.  Team employs STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE when: 1) high standards for process and output are established, 2) members require each other to perform according to standards, 3) the team exerts pressure on itself to improve performance.

Support.  Teams are more likely to sustain excellence when EXTERNAL SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION exists, including 1) availability of necessary resources, 2) support from critical constituencies, 3) sufficient recognition for accomplishments, and 4) the existence of appropriate reward and incentive structures.