A Simple Strategy to Amp Up Team Performance

How do you amp up team performance? By creating a meeting structure that consistently changes the quality and power of team meetings and therefore team performance.

In November 2018, three people from one of our larger clients, Sanford Health, came to one of the two-day Art of Hosting Intensives we have created. These two-day intensives fill quickly and seem to have a broader appeal for organizations that want to send several or all members of their teams.

The imagination of this client team was sparked when we presented the High Performance Teams Model (which is also a model for Communities of Practice). There is a simplicity of naming three dynamic aspects of teams that all need to be attended to and then making sure they are all allocated time in your meetings.

The three aspects are work, relationship and co-learning. And when all aspects are attended to innovation that is sustainable occurs regularly thanks to the synergy of the team.

High Performance Teams Model

We recently brought the two-day AoH intensive internally to Sanford Health and two of the three who had attended in November apprenticed with us. Linda Heerde and Angela Heibult, who are part of the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEAD) team, shared the High Performance Teams model because it has gained traction in their teams. The conversation was robust because other people in Sanford have taken note of the performance of these teams.

They use it for in-person and virtual meetings. When asked, they described how meeting agendas were changed to ensure all three aspects were engaged. This looks like a check-in at the beginning of the meeting and a check-out at the end which serves to support relationship and work, creating a mechanism for all team members to co-create the agenda, making sure learning is made visible as well as the work purpose of the meeting. Some of that learning shows up in team notes, on a central platform, that makes visible successes of the team and team process.

A bonus is that the High Performance Teams Model can be used to diagnose a team’s issues when things aren’t going that great, identifying missing components. Simply putting the model in front of people and offering a short explanation, allows team leaders and other team members to come to their own determination of the missing ingredients.

Changing the meeting design, how it is created and what is emphasized is a simple strategy for alignment and coherence of high performance teams; and this is also how worldview shifts are supported. Start anywhere and it can become contagious everywhere.