Stanton Chase
Building High-Performing Teams As A Competitive Advantage

Building High-Performing Teams As A Competitive Advantage

September 2021


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High performance requires a thoughtful process to establish the necessary conditions for success

In today’s demanding and volatile business environment, one of the major challenges business leaders facing is building, developing, and sustaining high-performing teams. At the same time, organizations are asked to solve this puzzle amid the COVID-19 crisis, a time when it can be daunting to sustain or maximize business performance and productivity under completely new working conditions. Now, more than ever, the importance of having a high-performing team is apparent.

A high-performing team is more than just a group of people who happen to work together. It’s a collection of individuals who collaborate and share a common vision and purpose, striving to achieve their goals.

High-performing teams are critical in assisting organizations survive and thrive in today’s intensely competitive business landscape. But building such a team is no chance matter. High performance requires a thoughtful process to establish the necessary conditions for success – which means bringing the right people together for a common purpose, helping them establish effective norms for operating, and supporting their growth and development while building and maintaining a foundation of trust.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating, fostering, and growing a highly functioning team. Every team is unique and has different needs. Building, a diverse team that works well together is a challenge that takes significant effort to handle, and leaders shouldn’t underestimate it. 

A hallmark of high-performing teams is that they’re constantly on the lookout for ways to evolve, update strategies, and integrate new leaders. If a team isn’t growing or adapting, it will inevitably stagnate.

“Performance and culture factors are the cement that holds the bricks of a team together.”

To achieve the highest rate of effectiveness, high-performing teams at all levels need to realize where they stand in relation to the principles that every high-performing team should meet:

  • Being fully aware of their role in achieving organizational goals with a clearly defined team strategy
  • Creating and sharing a deep sense of purpose and commitment
  • Mutual accountability and a clear understanding of members’ responsibilities to the team and individual obligations
  • Understanding the mix of capabilities that complement and exist within the team
  • Exhibiting interdependence and trust between members

The cornerstone to achieving this is self-awareness and commitment to growth stemming from an insightful evaluation of the team’s current strengths and weaknesses. One powerful tool that we use with our clients is the High Performing Team Assessment, which considers both team performance and culture as aspects that can greatly contribute to team effectiveness and how certain elements of performance and culture can be further developed to enhance the team even more. Performance and culture factors are the cement that holds the bricks of a team together.

Grounded on academic research on thought leadership, with references to “The Rocket Model” by Gordon Curphy and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, the HPTA model, developed by PBC, is unique in the way that it contains two critical dimensions for effective teamwork, namely a performance domain and a culture domain. The performance dimension identifies factors that impact on the capability of the team to achieve the deliverables and results for which they are responsible.

  • Strategy: How the team plans ahead, as well as setting and tracking strategic priorities
  • Innovation: How the team thinks outside the square and innovates
  • Accountability: How the team uses feedback and support to hold each other accountable
  • Leading change: How the team demonstrates leadership in response to change
  • Results: How the team focuses on achieving results
  • Meeting effectiveness: How efficiently and effectively the team leverages meetings to perform

The culturedimension identifies factors that impact the team’s standards of behavior and values that influence how team members collaborate in order to achieve their goals.

  • Trust: How the team builds trust and connection with one another
  • Professional conflict: How the team deals with conflict and difficult conversations
  • Communication: How the team leverages communication
  • Emotional intelligence: How the team exercises emotional intelligence
  • Collaboration: How the team collaborates and supports each other for success
  • Resilience: How the team responds to challenges and setbacks

Like individuals, different teams will have different strengths, needs, and different development areas. Because every team is unique, there are many factors that influence how a team performs over time. Getting real, practical feedback about the team, from the team, and by understanding these fundamental driving forces, organizations can shape and establish a high-performance working culture while building and fostering high-performance teams.

Based on our experience working with teams at every level of the organization, from executive and cross-functional teams to smaller teams, we at Stanton Chase can help build up individual leadership skills as well as help improve team collaboration. Both initiatives increase awareness among the team members (on an individual and collective basis), create commitment, and assist team members to create trust and leverage the wide range of skills, experience and knowledge that each individual team member brings to the group.

By putting in place such customized team member interventions and team development initiatives, we help our clients achieve superior results, build collective growth, improve collaboration, increase innovation, and sustain consistent high performance. To find out how Stanton Chase can help your organization build high-performing teams, contact us here.

About the Authors:

Dimitris Pezoulas is a Senior Consultant at Stanton Chase Athens.

Hector Postantzis is a Consultant at Stanton Chase Athens.

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