Do Generic High Performance Teams Exist?

Is the concept of a generic high-performance team meaningless?

Recently I worked with an executive team with a rather unique profile. Most of the team had low needs for interpersonal control, which is rare in my experience for a senior team.

In corporate settings low needs for control are associated with empowering leadership styles ie: fluid processes and decision-making, creating space for people to flourish as opposed to telling them what to do and so on.

This approach can be highly effective in certain contexts.

However, this particular team is new, has been afforded an unusually broad mandate and is required to enact significant change. They will need to complement their natural hands-off style with clear direction, decision-making, structure and process in order to make the most of the control they have been afforded.

It got me thinking about high performance team-work and how dependent this is on what the team is tasked to do. I would argue that there is no generic set of characteristics that consistently result in high performance team-work.

Perhaps the only meaningful way to conceive of high performance teams is in relation to the mandate and strategic objectives with which they have been tasked?

Have a great weekend everyone.

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