Amity Institute Of Training & Development

Building High Performance Teams Read Time: 5 mins

Most companies struggle to build High-Performance Teams - an important attribute where not much focus is given even by great corporations.

“97% of employees and executives surveyed believe a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project” (source:

Companies today operate in a global environment, with rapid changes, and need to respond to these new opportunities and new markets with agility. Despite organization investment in improving productivity and efficiency, we find organizations continuing to have challenges in creating high-performance teams.

Most of the approaches for creating these teams centre around managing performance and the leader's approach to building teams without a comprehensive approach that considers the team's purpose, its culture, the individuals that form a part of it and key underlying processes.

Building a high-performance team for an organization will be concerned with answering 3 key questions:

1) How can our team deliver higher customer impact?
2) How can our team remain motivated and engaged in our strategic goals?
3) How can our team achieve more with less?

Amity’s approach to Building High-Performance teams.

Our approach on creating high performing teams relies on more than 30 years of research comprising 50+ organizations on what works in creating high performing teams and what does not. We identify key attributes of a high performing team to include:

1) The fullness of mutual accountability
2) Enhanced Clarity and Deeper Sense of Purpose
3) High interaction, knowledge exchange and Dependability
4) Speed and Agility
5) Sense of focus
6) Operating with Creativity

The work with teams starts with understanding the organization that the teams operate within and the stage of team development. We then work with teams to identify a customized and team-specific approach that acts as a catalyst to create a high performing team.

Team mutual accountability is a reciprocally authorized behaviour among team members of evaluating one another’s progress on the team’s task. Unlike performance pressure, which is externally enforced accountability on a team, mutual accountability is internal to a team. Teams with mutual accountability are likely to make prompt performance adjustments because team members, by their intimate understanding of the team’s work and impromptu conversations, can actively evaluate team progress and adjust ongoing performance issues. As teamwork becomes more dynamic and reliant in organizations, the “right” processes and task divisions become difficult to predict in advance. This makes external team accountability insufficient and mutual accountability among team members critical for prompt performance adjustments.

Having a deeper sense of purpose is not just about having a clear mission that focuses on how a business will generate economic value.

A higher purpose is not about economic exchanges. It reflects something more aspirational. It explains how the people involved with an organization are making a difference, gives them a sense of meaning, and draws their support. It is only by creating a purpose-driven organization that creates motivated and engaged employees. They act as change agents and bring their brilliance and creativity to their jobs. They begin to perform up to their potential.

High interaction and knowledge sharing are positively correlated with team performance. Knowledge has been recognized as a base of power and competitive edge for individuals who hold it. Some people may go as far as to see sharing their knowledge with others as a sign of losing their unique value in the organization. Accordingly, people are not often eager to share their knowledge or expertise with others. However, research has endorsed that knowledge sharing is a crucial factor for facilitating optimum team performance. It enables team members to get better ability about the team tasks and objectives. Team members exchange task-relevant knowledge to support other team members and teams in accomplishing their goals.

Speed and agility are not the same. More than simply a single process or methodology, organizational agility is the ability to:

• Adjust strategies continuously
• Empower employees to make key decisions on challenging projects
• Respond to ambiguity and uncertainty with flexibility and speed.
• View unanticipated change as an opportunity for transformation

By introducing flexibility and adaptability enterprise-wide, organizations can respond faster to fluctuating market conditions, improve overall organizational efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Having a sense of focus is one of the key attributes of a high-performance team. Such a high impact team would comprise of a group of goal-focused individuals with specialized expertise and complementary skills who collaborate, innovate, and produce consistently superior results. The group relentlessly pursues performance excellence through shared goals, shared leadership, collaboration, open communication, clear role expectations and group operating rules, early conflict resolution, and a keen sense of accountability and trust among its members.

Being creative and innovative are the top critical success factors not only for companies but for leaders and their teams. Research has validated these findings, identifying creativity as the top leadership competency for enterprises. Leaders and managers cannot continue to rely on the same ideas that have brought them past success and cannot be effective by surrounding themselves with people who parrot the leader’s ideas. Teams should be encouraged to take risks in bringing fresh thinking and innovative ideas to the table, even if they are not 100% correct. The complexities of today’s marketplace require innovative solutions, which at times call for disruptive ways of problem-solving that may challenge the status quo: The business environment is too dynamic and the level of change is too complex we can’t rely on the same ideas or same ways to solve problems or expand markets with the same thinking we’ve always fallen back on.

In conclusion, team building is just not about team productivity and efficiency. The larger objective is to build a team culture that keeps delivering higher customer value repetitively and organization impact, while productivity and efficiency improvement are just the natural outcomes that such a team can deliver. High-performing teams are unstoppable; they improve your top line and your bottom line.

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By: Rohin Bishnoi

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