Great teams don’t just happen. They must be deliberately designed, nurtured and grown if you want them to succeed. Scientific research estimates that team design accounts for up to 80% of a team’s success. There are six specific conditions that are present in the most effective teams and when one or more of these conditions is missing, teams can struggle.
Based on decades of research by top team scholars at Harvard University, 6 Team Conditions is the best scientifically validated model for creating and maintaining successful teams. The framework identifies six areas that predict a team’s effectiveness and performance. And when those conditions are present, a team can maximize its effort, skill and strategy, all of which contribute to team outcomes. The model has been widely implemented on thousands of teams in a diverse range of industries, sectors and organizational levels with proven success.
As a 6 Teams Conditions certified practice, h3 helps leaders bring out the best in their teams through effective team design, teamwork empowerment and coaching. The principles can be applied to all types of teams, from temporary project teams to the C-suite, from nonprofits and government organizations to for-profit businesses of all sizes. Additionally, the Team Diagnostic Survey, a companion assessment for the 6 Team Conditions, is a powerful tool to quickly determine where an existing team may be struggling most.
As a leader, you can deliberately cultivate the 6 Team Conditions for your team. By intentionally designing (or redesigning) a team with these conditions in mind, you provide a solid foundation for a team to thrive and get results. Partner with h3 to help your team be more collaborative and have a greater impact, leading to greater outcomes and more satisfied stakeholders.
Read on to learn more about the 6 Team Conditions.
The Essentials and Enablers lead to Key Task Processes which determine team Outcomes.
The first three conditions are non-negotiable and without them, teams will struggle to such a degree that they may eventually fail.
- Real Team: There is clarity around the boundaries of the team and membership doesn’t drastically change over time. Members rely on each other to complete interdependent work.
- Compelling Purpose: The team’s purpose is clear which helps the team develop a shared strategy for its work. Additionally, the purpose is consequential and challenging enough to motivate the team to give its best effort.
- Right People: The members of the team are able to contribute to the team’s purpose and have the right technical and teamwork skills to get the job done. The team has the right mix of perspectives and capabilities.
The next three, the Enablers, act as catalysts for teams, helping them get to desired outcomes more quickly. Leaders who invest time in the Enablers will reap the benefits by creating teams that are more self-sufficient, collaborative and productive.
- Sound Structure: There is a logical design to the team’s work, the team is appropriate in size and there are clear ground rules for working together.
- Supportive Context: The organization provides the team what it needs to do its work: rewards and recognition, information, education and training, and material resources. The team engages effectively with its stakeholders within the organization.
- Team Coaching: Whether it is an external professional coach, the leader, or a member of the team, someone is available to detect problems and provide helpful interventions to the team.
Key Task Processes that Drive Team Effectiveness
When the six conditions are present, teams demonstrate an increase in the following three areas:
- Effort: Members will work harder toward shared purpose.
- Strategy: The quality of the team’s approach to work will improve.
- Knowledge and Skill: The team will be able to utilize its full range of capabilities.
The Definition of Team Effectiveness
The six conditions drive key task processes which directly impact the team’s effectiveness. When a leader attends to the six conditions, the following outcomes result:
- Quality of Group Process: The team becomes stronger, more efficient and productive over time.
- Task Performance: The team’s work meets or exceeds the needs and expectations of its clients.
- Member Satisfaction: The individual members of the team grow personally and professionally as a result of being on the team which cultivates a positive culture, engagement and retention.