Is Yours a High Performing Team?

Published: January 26, 2011

What kinds of teams benefit most from Team Clock? The first month of 2011 has welcomed calls from strong teams wishing to get stronger. The first call came from KIPP Schools in Houston.

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell devotes the bulk of a chapter to KIPP’s unconventional approach to educating inner city kids.

“What KIPP is most famous for is mathematics. In the South Bronx, only about 16% of all middle school students are performing at or above grade level in math. In seventh grade, KIPP students start high school algebra. By the end of eighth grade, 84% of the students are performing at or above grade level.” (Gladwell 2008, p. 251)

Like other innovative organizations, KIPP achieves unprecedented results by empowering autonomy and creativity in their employees and, ultimately in their customers (in KIPP’s case: kids, families and communities).

Unlike teams that wait for something to break before seeking consultation, KIPP asked the questions differently:

  • How do we leverage our strength to better meet the needs of the families and communities we serve?
  • Have we established a solid infrastructure of norms, values and accountability in our teams?
  • Do we engage with our teammates and conduct our professional interactions with trust and integrity?
  • Do we take smart risks to spark innovative methods?
  • Do we adapt to the change we have created by our innovation?
  • Do we reinvest in new goals once our previous targets are achieved or surpassed?

Teams of all shapes and sizes benefit from Team Clock and everyone measures their growth differently. School teams track achievement. Business teams target productivity, efficiency or profit. Sports teams celebrate wins. Community groups look for strong organizational culture. Regardless of the metric, you fit in one of the following categories:

  • High performing teams that wish to perform better.
  • Under-performing teams that are unaware of the reasons for their under-performance.
  • Dysfunctional teams experiencing unhealthy structure and interactional dynamics.
  • Any team experiencing significant change wanting to anchor behaviors that solidify healthy team infrastructure.

Which team best describes you?

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst College where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.