Forming to High Performing

Recent reports suggest only 10 percent of teams earn the title of High Performing.

To move through and beyond Tuckman’s theory of team development to become a high performing team requires some deliberate shifts in mindset.

The transitions between each stage of Tuckman’s theory present opportunities for groups to fail on their journey to becoming a team.

Moving from team formation into the storming phase requires deliberate and clear communication. Without communication the storming phase becomes a fatal graveyard for teams. When teams practice open communication storming leads to creative energy that can propel the team forward.

To move out of storming and on to normalization requires team members to cooperate. Cooperation leverages the energy of storming to create a new stable working model - teamwork. Lack of cooperation maintains a downward cycle of storming.

With a solid foundation of teamwork in the norming phase the team can now move to the performing stage through collaboration. Collaboration allows performing teams to deliver on their goals.

Performing is where most teams get stuck and eventually performing teams satisfied with just performing slowly begin to slide. Undetectable at first the slide quickly reaches terminal velocity and without intervention critical failure.

To avoid the just performing trap and climb to the top 10 percent of high performing teams, teams must learn to co-create. Co-creation is the hallmark of a truly high performing team. 

I’ll discus the quantum leap from high performing to the 1% ultra high performing team in a later post.

  • Communication - sharing knowledge
  • Cooperation - operate together (work with)
  • Collaboration - achieve together
  • Co-Creation - create together