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Continuous Improvement

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What Makes Teams Click

“Team chemistry” is hard to define. Everyone knows it when they see it. Teammates appear locked in to success, whatever the endeavor might be. Colleagues anticipate each other’s needs. Players play with field vision. Interdependence unfolds naturally. However, teams don’t just conjure up chemistry like magic. There is a recipe. Unfortunately, it takes a level of sacrifice few teams are willing to make.

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Four Stages of Team Growth

Adversity teaches us how to cope. Occasionally, we come up from an underground subway platform to street level and momentarily lose our bearings. Where am I? Which way is north? In that fleeting moment where nothing looks familiar, we are lost. The fear center of our brain gets activated as we fend off panic and search for direction. Of course, no one stays lost forever. Eventually, learning occurs. Consider what might happen if we got lost on purpose. A good crisis provides many lessons. Let’s look at how growth unfolds.

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When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

There are few intolerable consequences for settling for good-enough performance. Risking the pursuit of greatness isn’t for everyone. It comes at a cost not many are willing to pay. In most professional endeavors, good enough is good enough. Why, then, do some people, some partners, some teams, and some organizations reach for the sky?

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The Continuous Gap Analysis of Opportunity

Building a dream team involves both design and maintenance. In the design phase, gather a unique collection of personalities who share a common goal and diverse paths to attainment. In the maintenance phase, catch early warning signs of vulnerability and repair proactively. Whether anchoring the team’s infrastructure or tweaking performance, consider these guideposts and engage in a continuous gap analysis of opportunity:

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When Excellence Gets Punished

If the norm is mediocre, average performance will always be good enough. Good enough is sufficient in many endeavors. Some commitments, however, require a devotion to excellence and continuous improvement. Elevating good to great and great to greater taxes the system before it fuels. It’s easier not to stretch yourself when the immediate reward is not visible. In a culture that prefers good, great is a threat. Consider these ways excellence gets punished:

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