Strong leaders – whether in appointed roles or taking leadership action – build highly effective teams. Where teams have been effectively organized and led, the list of team outcomes have led to dramatic improvements in productivity, customer service, quality, process management, innovation, cost effectiveness, job satisfaction, morale, and financial performance.

My last blog post looked at Nine Reasons Many Groups Aren’t Teams. Now we’ll look at the flip side. Many elements contribute to highly effective teams. We’ve boiled them down to these 12 components:

  1. Where are we going (our vision)?
  2. How will we work together (our values)?
  3. Why do we exist (our purpose)?
  4. Whom do we serve?
  5. What is expected of us?
  6. What are our performance gaps?
  7. What are our goals and priorities?
  8. What’s our implementation/improvement plan?
  9. What skills/processes do we need to develop?
  10. What support is available?
  11. How will we track our performance?
  12. How/when will we review, assess, celebrate, and refocus?

Highly effective teams regularly invest time in stepping back from working in the team to working on the team. That’s key to avoiding The Acceleration Trap that ensnares so many teams in a frantic cycle of ever-faster activities bringing fewer results.

Use this Team Effectiveness Framework to foster Courageous Conversations and guide plans for continuous team development. You could work your way through the full framework during an offsite team development retreat. Or you can take each step at a time in a series of ongoing development sessions spaced over 12 regular intervals.

In today’s crazy busy organization, teams rarely become highly effective without concentrated and strategic team development work. When will you begin?