Chapter 4 – Project Team

4.4. In-depth Look: High Performing Teams

In-depth Look

History of High-Performing Teams

The concept of high-performing teams was born by the Tavistock Institute, UK, in 1950. It became popular in the 1980s with major high-end companies like Hewlett-Packard (HP), General Electric (GE), and Boeing. In early 2000, the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Dynamics Laboratory team investigated the patterns that drive team communication engagement and found out that energy, engagement, and exploration are the most important predictors of a high-performing team.

According to the Harvard Business Review, high-performing teams are highly sought after in the corporate world. The need for high-performing teams is in response to competitive challenges and rapid technological development in the corporate space. High-performing team structures enable the application of multiple skills, talents, and decision-making that help to foster productivity and development for emerging companies (Chapman, 2022).

Evolution and Principles of High-Performing Teams

The theory of high performance was developed by a psychologist named Bruce Tuckman; he explored the stages of team development in relation to team performance. These stages are Storming, Norming, Forming, Performing and Adjourning. He expands on some important points that are important in running an organization. He focuses on the role of leadership and the importance of team decision-making. In 1973, John Adair developed Tuckman’s theory to develop the idea of team building using three core tenets of Tuckman’s theory: Fulfilling the task at hand, developing a strong group or team that can perform the work. Developing each team member who is integral to the performance of the work (Developing and Sustaining, n.d.).

Role of Personality Types in High-Performance Teams

High-performing teams should include members having different personality types and cultures in the balanced mixes that would allow for diverse opinions, different viewpoints, and a varied choice of solutions. Most organizations use a personality indicator for teams along with other modes such as a Behavioural Model or a Core Competency Model. This allows the organization to map talents and personality traits that exist already and what may still be required of the team. This enables it to make better assessments and improve team matches (Profiles, 2020). Personality tests are often completed by Human Resources to make these choices.

One of the most commonly used personality type indicator by most organizations is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in which 16 personalities are used to loosely map to the ‘Big Five Personality Framework’ by Carl Jung. MBTI groups people into 4 types: Thinking, Feeling, Sensing, and Intuitive. It is said that people with Feeling and Intuitive traits likely prefer to interact in abstracts and guidelines whereas those with the Sensing and Thinking trait have a preference to communicate in specific terms and exacts (Profiles, 2020).

Human Resources professionals should make an effort to include cognitive diversity into the team. This would mean looking for professionals with various types of personalities. It would also mean that though HR should be looking at education, work experience, information processing styles, and culture in a candidate, at the same time, the personality of a person will play a huge role (Profile Asia Pacific, 2020). If HR includes different personalities in a team, it is crucial to make sure that all the members are communicating well with each other and with compassion. It is important for a team to give a high performance that management or team leaders can acknowledge and work along with the distinct personality styles and communication present in the team (Profiles, 2020).

Class of 2022 Contributions: Amalrani Jose, Anuradha Kamal, Cache Paul Sakaria, Elisha Balogun