Lindsay McKenna delivered a fascinating session for MD2MD members on High Performance Teamwork based on ideas from observing successful teams in the wild of the African bush – where great teamwork can be the basis of Life … or Death. One of the frameworks she shared with the group was her 9 elements of a high performance team Which she clusters into three main themes and which I, as usual suimmarise for the impatient business leader below.  If you wish to dig deeper you can read a more full version here or even buy a copy of one of her excellent manuals here.

Lindsay makes the point that businesses gain from a common approach to teamwork and having a robust repeatable process that can be mastered. She points out that real benefits are derived when new teams can start up and team members can move from team to team and feel instantly “at home” with the approach being taken and the language and tools adopted.

The three key elements necessary for success are, Lindsay suggests, that teams must have the will to succeed, the ability to succeed and the energy to succeed.

The will to succeed

This is the foundation of any team – the team members need to be fully engaged.  It requires a common purpose, explicit mutual commitment and trust.

The ability to succeed

But having the will is not enough, the team must also have the ability to succeed.  They must beenabled to succeed. That means agreed ways of working, that the team members have the ability to perform the required tasks in the agreed timescales and that there are means of ensuring accountability.

The energy to succeed

And finally the team needs energy. It must be energised. A positive and innovative culture that responds positively and constructively to unforeseen obstacles and a recognition of both contribution and achievements by individuals and the team.