The Five Habits of High Performance Teams
This tool helps leaders understand the five elements of successful teams and establish these elements in their own teams. It includes a checklist to use in establishing a team "charter." This is a very useful tool for new teams, as well as for teams that are searching for a renewed sense of purpose.
The Team Charter
Successful teams have five things in place:
1. A clear sense of purpose
2. Well-understood norms of behavior
3. Measurable success indicators
4. Clear roles and responsibilities
5. Operating rules
These are often incorporated into a team charter - a single document in which all five elements are written down. Use this checklist to ensure that youve established all five elements on your team. Using a qualified facilitator will help everyone take part and ensure team buy-in for each element of the charter.
The first part of the meeting should be devoted to answering these questions:
• Why was this team put together in the first place?
• What is the fundamental purpose or mission of the team?
• What are the goals of the team?
• What else does the team want to achieve?
• What will the team be called?
Team norms are the behaviors expected of each member of the team. Identifying them explicitly is critical to making the team function effectively.
• What are the values of the team? (Ask team members to identify the behaviors they would consider essential to team success.)
• How will we make decisions? (Recommended tool: "Decision making types")
• How will the team members support and interact with one another?
• What will our meeting ground rules be? (Recommended tool: "Ground rules for productive conversations.")
Next we want to look at how the team will measure its success. Ask the following questions:
• What outcomes does the team want to achieve?
• How will the team know it is successful? (What measurements will it use?)
• How will it evaluate the progress it is making?
• How will the team recognize one another and celebrate it successes?
• How will the team deal with poor performance?
Team roles should focus on decision making. Ask the following questions:
• What is the typical mode of decision making for this team?
• Whos responsible for clarifying the decision-making roles of the team and of team members if were unclear?
• Is someone on the team responsible for managing each major decision?
• How much authority does the team have to make decisions by consensus?
Operating rules should define the way the team manages its meetings. Ask the following questions:
• How often will the team meet?
• How long will the team meet?
• Who facilitates the meeting?
• What kind of agendas do we want? How will we build agendas?
• How will we evaluate our meetings/actions?
• What kind of meeting notes do we want?
• To whom are the notes distributed?
• When are the notes distributed?
• How else will we communicate after the meeting?
• How else will we manage our meetings?
• Write down the teams commitments in a charter. Distribute the charter to every team member.
• Regularly review these commitments (at least twice a year). Ask the team: "Are we doing what we said we would?"
• Follow up in any areas where the team feels it needs to strengthen its commitments.
Make the leap to a high performance organization.