Working as a high performing team – some tips

Posted by Administrator on November 18 2016


A big part of your experience of Design Ventura is the opportunity to work like a professional design team. In this blog, I want to share some ideas about this to help you make the most out of this opportunity – and to set you all a challenge to be a really high performing team.

What is a high performing team?
Here’s a simple picture describing some of the features of a high performing team.

Clear sense of purpose:
Be clear on why the team exists and what you are there to achieve as well as how you are going to work together. In the team I am currently in, we have a motto or logo: One team, one dream. It’s a way of pulling us all together. Maybe create one for your team to help build that sense of common purpose?

Clear about roles:
You’ve been asked to pick roles in the team. What’s really important here is that everyone knows what their role is and that you all trust each other to get on with that role. It might be nice to share the roll of team leader role to give everyone the opportunity and experience of doing this.

Get the job done:
High performing teams keep going and help each other out.
This is about turning up on time, pulling your weight even when the going gets tough. You will have good times and bad times to work through.

Value differences:
This is my favourite part of being in a team – learning to work with other people. Be open to the skills others bring to the team and don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Final take away: Team Reflection Time
A couple of simple questions to use at the end of every working session together:

  • What’s going well?
  • What could we be better at?

Don’t let things go on for too long if it isn’t working well – it’s up to everyone on the team to take responsibility to say if something isn’t working or could be improved. Put the team first, invest your energy in making the team be the best it can be.

In the words of Steve Jobs, Apple’s extraordinary founder, “the journey really is the reward.” Make the most out of working with your team mates, take something away from every session you have, show up, contribute, share, be the best team mate you can be– and really enjoy it, something magical can really happen when you are part of a high performing team.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African proverb

Written by Siobhan McKavanagh, Organisation Design Specialist, Risk Division – Deutsche Bank

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