People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44

Drivers expect roadmaps to reflect reality: The location of
streets and intersections on the map should correspond to
what they see while driving. The same is true about roadmaps
for teams; they need to reflect the reality of team functioning.
(In scientific jargon, we use the word valid to describe frameworks that reflect reality.) Based on our research on thousands of teams, we have validated the following eight factors
as being critical to team performance (illustrated in Figure 1:
The Rocket ModelTM):
* Shared View of Context. A team does not operate in a
vacuum. Stakeholder expectations, industry and societal
trends, government regulations, economic realities, and
other external factors have implications for the team.
When team members are on the same page about contextual issues, team functioning improves.
* Aligned Mission. Teams are most effective when members
agree on what success looks like. This goes beyond getting
team members to agree on their mission statement into
specifically defining success: what needs to get done and

Those organizations that are most
successful in leveraging teams
make sure their top team is working
together effectively.

*

*

*

*

*

44

by when. Goal clarity is the first step toward successful execution and helps the team ensure its day-to-day activities
are connected to key priorities.
The Right Talent. Having team members with the right
level of IQ, EQ, and capabilities is necessary, but not sufficient. High-performing teams also have clear roles and
responsibilities, and they organize themselves to optimize
performance. Having the right talent also means having
the right number of members. (Some teams are like popular cliques; everyone wants to belong.)
Effective Norms. Norms include formal processes and
procedures as well as the informal rules teams use to get
work done. Effective teams ensure their processes and
norms help (rather than hinder) team performance. Important norms include how the team conducts meetings,
makes decisions, keeps members informed, and holds
members accountable.
Buy-in. For a team to be effective, its members need to be
committed to the team's success. Buy-in is concerned with
the level of engagement and motivation team members
bring to the team's goals, roles, and rules.
Resources. To be successful, teams need the appropriate
resources, which can include budget, software, data, authority, and political support.
Constructive Conflict. Successful teams raise difficult
issues and resolve differences in an effective manner. Low-performing teams either promote artificial
harmony (i.e., avoid controversial issues and difficult
PEOPLE + STRATEGY

topics) or engage in destructive conf lict, making issues
personal.
* Focus on Results. Merely having goals isn't sufficient. The
best teams also keep their goals front and center, regularly
track progress, and make time to learn from successes and
failures.
Based on our work with the top teams at the software
company, they adopted this framework as their approach to
building teams. When a new team was being formed or a team
was struggling, leaders were asked to pay attention to these
eight factors.

3. Enable leaders. Organizations with the highest per-

forming teams equip their leaders with proven processes and
team-building practices. Without having these tools in their
toolbox, leaders equate team-building efforts with feel-good
activities such as potlucks, happy hours, and other diversions.
While fun activities have their place, they rarely succeed in
making a measurable, lasting impact on a team's performance.
Organizations that are the most effective in supporting
teams teach team-building skills in their leadership development programs. The CHRO of the software company told us,
"I was seeing too many leaders relying on HR or external consultants to do team building. Building teams is a leader's job;
it's too important to be outsourced. Because our leaders didn't
know where to start, we redesigned our leadership development program to teach team-building skills. With teamwork
being one of our strategic initiatives, we devote fully a third of
the course to team building. We put the top 500 global leaders
through the new program this year and got such great results
that we are rolling it out to the next 1,000 next year."

4. Bake it in. Organizations with good intentions about

promoting teamwork sometimes overlook the need to incorporate it into their talent management systems, tools, and
practices. A common example of this problem is that most
competency models carefully spell out expectations for how
leaders should work with individuals, but they don't provide
much guidance around how leaders should get those individuals working together as a team. Because competency models
are often at the core of selection, on-boarding, development,
performance management, and succession planning systems,
if they don't adequately address team leadership, they are
missing a key aspect of leadership.
Organizations that are the most successful in promoting
teamwork use multiple levers. Consider the experience of
the software company. The CEO asked the CHRO what could
be done to boost teamwork and team effectiveness across
the organization. The HR team responded by incorporating
teamwork into the company's competency model, added it to
the performance management system, increased the attention
given to teamwork in development programs, and saw that
the ability to build high-performing teams was given weight
in promotion decisions. Because of this integrated approach,
employee surveys showed significant improvements in collaboration and teamwork within 12 months and turnover was
trending down.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
The Rise of Digital Team Building
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 5
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Guest Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 7
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 9
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 10
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 11
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 12
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 13
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 14
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 15
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 17
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 18
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 19
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 21
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 23
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 24
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 25
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 26
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 27
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 28
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 29
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 31
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 34
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 35
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 37
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 38
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 39
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 40
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 41
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 43
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 47
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 48
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 49
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 50
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 51
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - The Rise of Digital Team Building
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 55
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 57
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 58
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 59
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 60
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 61
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - In First Person
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 63
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 65
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 67
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 68
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 69
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 71
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 73
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 74
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover4
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