From enterprises to organizations like the armed forces to sports teams, the success is always measured by the outcomes they deliver. It takes high-performance teams to deliver outcomes, not just consistently but also incrementally.
Successful enterprises like GE, Apple, Google, and Amazon have the impact high-performance teams have on market leadership, customer experience, and profitability. They have invested time, effort and money in building a culture that breeds performance excellence and an obsession with delivering successful outcomes.
In this blog, we will look at 5 signs of a high-performance team.
1. Alignment to purpose
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” – John F. Kennedy
Let’s take the armed forces as an example. Imagine if they looked at it as a 9-5 job. Imagine what would happen if they decided to go home early because there was no work. I don’t see how any job is different. Purpose brings people together on a common platform and aligns them to a common set of goals, no matter where they are in the hierarchy. It is what binds them all together through the good and the bad.
I am fascinated by Amazon’s Day 1 Philosophy. “The outside world can push you into Day 2 if you won’t or can’t embrace powerful trends quickly. If you fight them, you’re probably fighting the future. Embrace them and you have a tailwind”—Jeff Bezos.
This philosophy consistently drives innovation, better customer experience and agility across the hierarchy, tenure, and roles.
2. Inclusive culture
We live in the digital age where information flow is becoming more and more real-time and latency in decision-making can prove very costly. The rate at which companies need to evolve and cope with the changing customer needs has increased exponentially and in such an environment, the traditional top-down decision making just doesn’t work. What is needed is an inclusive approach and feet on the street approach to making business decisions. It creates an open forum for ideation and collaboration, encouraging employees to be a part of the solution.
3. Clear Accountability
Gone are the days when there were cost-centers and profit-centers. The reality today is that every function today is expected to contribute either to the top line or bottom line. A culture of clear and collective accountability therefore becomes crucial for success because no one man can make it all happen. A big goal gets broken into sub goals and leaders and their teams take accountability for delivering on those sub goals. And then there is no going back on it, no passing the buck and no half measures.
4. Data-driven decision making
“Digital is the reason just over half the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000” – Pierre Nanterme, CEO, Accenture.
Let’s not confuse digital with digitization. The digital revolution is really about newer forms of data becoming available and important for businesses to look at. Be it customer behaviour, machine sensors, wearables, connected devices or autonomous cars, data is driving the new world economy. So it’s not really a choice for companies to adopt data, analytics and AI technologies but a must for staying relevant. High performance teams need to focus on decision making to become agile, real time and insight driven for it to deliver tangible impact.
5. Move to the next big goal
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” – Walt Disney
High-performance teams don’t rest on past laurels! They also don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate achievements. The key is to acknowledge success, celebrate it and start the next with sights on newer, bigger goals. Google started off as a search engine company, today they are a technology giant with their hands in practically every sphere of business from mobile devices to autonomous cars. Amazon today is pushing the boundaries of retail and cloud technology and Tesla is planning to send humans to Mars.
The recent news of Toys “R” Us filing for bankruptcy is a good reminder that the enterprises of today will be extinct tomorrow if they become complacent with their success.
In my opinion, high performance as a concept itself is an evolutionary one. The components that constitute performance keep changing with market, domain and organizational dynamics. While the components can change, the one thing that binds it all together is culture. Undermining it is the easiest route to oblivion. Kodak films anyone?
Author: Nikhil Daddikar, Co-Founder, Celoxis Technologies
About Celoxis: Celoxis is world’s leading online PPM software, rated among 3 best project management software tools in the world and is deployed by more than 2000+ customers globally, from mid-sized enterprises to Fortune 100 companies, across industry verticals. To know more visit www.celoxis.com.