Team Management Systems

Teamwork to the Power of Eight

By Jan Bentley
Copyright © Team Management Systems. All rights reserved.

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Whether you are forming a new team or helping to rejuvenate an established team, you need time and patience. There is no such thing as a quick team fix. Building a team and inspiring teamwork is a long process of learning.

Margerison and McCann have spent many years working with teams. Through their experience they have found that many teams fail because they have no clear picture of where they are heading or do not understand what their purpose is. Margerison and McCann have devised a set of questions that can help teams establish a good foundation on which to build their high performance. When satisfactory answers are given to these questions teams will generate a high level of internal energy which ripples through everything they do.

Margerison-McCann High-Energy Teams Model

Margerison-McCann High-Energy Teams Model

High-energy work teams occur when these eight fundamental questions are addressed:

  • Who are we?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where are we going?
  • How will we get there?
  • What is expected of us?
  • What support do we need?
  • How effective are we?
  • What recognition do we get?

To create a high-energy team you will need to establish ways of addressing the issues associated with these questions. Each question must be subject to continuous discussion and review through regular team learning processes.

Who are we?

Each person in a team brings different strengths to the team effort and will approach problems in a different way. Team members need to know 'what makes each person tick' so that individual differences can be harnessed to achieve maximum performance levels. The Team Management Profile Questionnaire you completed prior to this workshop will help you understand the way you like to approach work and how this differs from others in the team.

Where are we now?

Before planning where you are heading as a team, it is useful to assess the key Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your team. This analysis will help you determine whether you have the resources to achieve your vision.

Where are we going?

To work with energy, commitment and enthusiasm, a work team needs to know where it is going. It has to have a vision which is aligned with the organization's mission and goals.

How will we get there?

To turn a vision into reality, it is necessary to systematically set objectives, action plans and measures of performance. It is important to plan the route from where you are now to where you want to be.

What is expected of us?

People are unable to perform if they don't know what they are meant to be doing. In a high-energy team, all team members will fully understand their job description, their role in the team, what they are responsible for and, most importantly, what they are accountable for.

What support do we need?

If you and your team are to achieve the vision you have established then support is necessary in the way of training and development, facilitation, coaching, counseling and just general acquisition of skills.

How effective are we?

A high-energy team is one which regularly reviews its effectiveness and continually improves its performance. Benchmarks for success can be established and procedures for learning from mistakes implemented.

What recognition do we get?

In general, most teams will not attain high energy levels unless there is adequate recognition for the accomplishments of all team members.

Linking Skills

Team Linking Skills are essential in high energy work teams. Linking Skills cover the areas of coordination and integration of the team's work. These linking skills are addressed in the Linking Skills Workbook.

High-Energy Teams

With the focus in so many organizations on teaming, this concept is becoming popular with the Team Management Systems Network. The e-book entitled High-Energy Teams contains information to take any team through the process of answering these crucial questions. It applies to all teams, from managerial teams to work teams actually manufacturing products or delivering services, and has developed into a universal aid to teamwork.

Copyright © Team Management Systems. All rights reserved.

Jan Bentley (formerly Stewart) is a freelance writer and master trainer for Margerison-McCann Team Management Systems. Jan is the coauthor with Dick McCann of The Half-Empty Chalice and Aesop's Management Fables.

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