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Four Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

Source | By|Dave Ulrlch

Talent matters, but teamwork matters more. In the Academy Awards, about 20 percent of the time, the movie that includes the Best Actor or Actress wins Best Picture. In the NBA, about 20 percent of the time, the team with the top scorer wins the NBA championship. Further, when Michael Jordan led the league in personal scoring but his team did not win the NBA championship (3 times), he averaged 34.55 points per game. But when Jordan led the league in personal scoring and his team won the championship (6 times), he averaged only 30.5 points per game. When he personally scored less, his team won the championship.

Teamwork wins.Like movies and basketball (all sports actually), business today requires teamwork. In our research (see Victory Through Organization) on 1200 businesses, we discovered that organization capability had four times (yes four times!) more impact on business results than individual competence (talent). Organization capability may occur in a plant, function, division, business unit, geographic unit, or enterprise-wide. In each of these cases, teamwork enables organization capabilities. So what makes a high-performing team? Thousands of studies have been completed, but my colleagues and I have boiled them down into four key characteristics.


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