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The World Series and Best Teams

October is here.  That means the baseball/MLB playoffs (starting on the 7th) culminating in the World Series (in late October).

The World Series causes me to think about the best teams ever. In sports there are multiple. Baseball (as much as it pains me to say): New York Yankees Football: Green Bay Packers; then Dallas Cowboys; then San Francisco 49ers, then the New England Patriots. Basketball: Boston Celtics; Los Angeles Lakers; the 1992 Men’s Olympic Dream Team; and the UCONN Women’s Basketball Team (111 wins in a row). Soccer: US Women’s National Team.

But there are great teams in other walks of life  –  Yes, even in government. I spent 20 years in the US  Coast Guard.  They and NASA qualify as great teams. Local governments have some as well: Fort Collins, CO; Coral Springs, FL; and Prince William County, VA. In every workshop I ask the question “Who has Organizational Excellence?”. One of the answers is always: Chick-Fil-A.

What makes them great?  The High Performance Team (HPT) framework below is a good guide.

Clarity around why you exist and what results you’ll provide

The right team members who will put the team first

Defining your desired culture and key processes

TEAM measures (e.g. – safe pit stop in < 13 seconds)

TEAM rewards (e.g. – whole group taken to an event)

Implementation plan to drive the change and sustainment

Delighting the internal and external customer

An easy way to assess the current state of your team is to use letter grades  (A – F) for each puzzle piece. Some of the pieces will need two separate grades. For example – Preparation and Commitment means choosing the right team members and doing the full indoctrination. You may also have two grades for Customer (internal and external). This would be: “What would those customers say about your team?”

Aside from that mini-assessment, we do a simple exercise asking team members to choose from 2 lists – Team Behaviors they want more of; Team Results they want more of. The very process of coming to agreement on the top 3 of each list is a team builder.

Action Item: Do the mini assessments and see where you stand. If you have all A’s and B’s we would say you have a High Performance Team.  Anything below that deserves attention. Call us; we can help. We are experts in building and sustaining HPTs.

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