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High performing teams

Iain Milne

Iain Milne


  • Do you have a team that isn’t performing to its full potential?
  • Do you lead a newly created or changed team and want them to hit the ground running?
  • Do you want to know what the science of high performing teams shows? And what it means for your leadership?

What makes some teams better than others?

Psychologists and business leaders have long known that high performing teams are more than the sum of their parts. For instance, research shows that the likelihood of having above-average financial performance is close to doubled when the top team is working effectively together.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan

However, a high performing team is not just a collection of high performing individuals. It is something more. There is something in the way those individuals interact together, the space between them, that makes their specialness. That’s why People Measure’s approach to high performing teams includes not only a deep understanding of each individual (which you’d expect from organisational psychologists) but what happens between them – and how to make it as effective as possible.

This isn’t just good for the team – it’s good for the organisation. Positive team climates are associated with greater work engagement and performance. And on the flip side – disengaged or dysfunctional teams are unsurprisingly associated with decreased performance and reduced organisational success (estimated to cost Australia around $54.8 billion per year).

Can you measure it?

The research into high performing teams shows that four consistent characteristics arise. They are, that the team is:

  • Clear about purpose
  • Focused and accountable
  • Supportive and challenging and
  • Can adapt and innovate.

People Measures used this research to create a unique tool (the High Performance Team Questionnaire – HPTQTM ) that measures these – and their subcomponents. It also allows a team to see how it benchmarks against other teams.

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