Taking the work of great thinkers and researchers on teams into account (Rubin, Plovnick & Fry in the late 70’s, Katzenbach & Smith in the early 90s, Lafasto & Larson, West & Anderson and Hackman in the early 2000s along with Lencioni in 2005 and the Korn/Ferry Institute in 2007) three overall factors seem to be central in the identification of effective teams:
- Are they able to work effectively, displaying behaviour involving cooperation, goal articulation, result-orientation and innovation?
- Are they able to manage their conflicts constructively?
- Are they able to “move on” by creating momentum, thrust and animation - enabling their project or critical task to move forward, competently, to a, completed, delivery stage?
To have any predictive value, we are forced to extract aspects which reside outside the team – e.g. leadership, culture, market forces etc. The main challenge here is, of course, that this is where some real challenges and problems lie. However, without a completely capable, effectively interacting group, no company can adapt readily in a shifting environment.
We want, in other words, to focus on aspects within the realm of the team and on aspects that are more or less constant. This will then enable us to say something about the team, its members and completion capabilities. This does not mean that the external world is irrelevant.
The world will throw things at all teams – the better ones are just able to duck, dive or intercept more effectively. Yes, adversity and opportunity will be part of all business endeavours and projects – great teams are, however, more often able to manage, overcome, pivot and prosper.
This requires identifying and measuring relevant, correct and significant team perspectives. These also include:
- Inter-relational orientation
- Personal and inter-personal values
- Relationships between ambition and stress management
- High performance behaviour