The Anonymity of Performance

Published: August 4, 2014

Whether assisting with financial, legal, or healthcare concerns, professional service firms tend to look the same from the outside. You hire a specialist who represents an organization you trust. You place delicate matters in his or her hands and hope for a better future. Behind the scenes, your trusted representative is powered by an anonymous team of talented partners who manage the operations. Who are these essential teammates and how do we measure their performance?

Why not secure the likelihood that your specialist can work on your behalf atop a continuously strengthening platform of operational support? It begins with a rigorous assessment of strengths and vulnerabilities. As employees receive team effectiveness survey links in their morning e-mail inboxes, everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization gets a chance to measure some key drivers of team effectiveness:

  • Are we aligned in a common mission?
  • Do we embrace conflict and differences in perspective professionally?
  • Do we hold ourselves and each other accountable?
  • Can we leverage collaboration to achieve efficiency?
  • Are we courageous enough to challenge the status quo?
  • Is creativity and discovery supported by our leadership?
  • Are we able to remain poised, nimble, and focused during change?
  • Can we adapt to new circumstances?

Most teams participating in such an assessment exhibit strengths in most areas. Fortunately, it is the vulnerabilities that guide the direction of their work. The anonymity of performance lives in the commitment to continuous operational improvement that thrives quietly behind the scenes.


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 University 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.