High performance is demonstrated by how well you succeed in achieving an objective. Just as in sports: if the bar is set too high, it’s not worth even competing; if it’s set too low, you don’t stretch yourself to the limit and therefore continue developing. Ambitious but not overextended—that is the “golden rule”. And it also applies in the workplace, e.g., when developing and implementing strategies.

Since strategy development means answering three simple questions, namely Where do I want to go? Where am I today? and How do I close the gap between my target and where am I now?, this means that the bar here too has to be placed at the right height. And who can do this better than the athletes themselves, in other words: the employees involved? Of course, with appropriate motivation on the part of the managers and a training plan that takes into consideration a realistic assessment of the competitors and of your own strengths and competences.

Successful managers trust in the team development process that the American psychologist Bruce Tuckman described with forming, storming, norming and performing back in 1965. According to this, groups typically develop in four steps. First of all, a group needs to find itself, and contacts are established. Confusion and uncertainty are often the order of the day. Only then does the group turn to the actual task to be performed. In the storming phase, there are often skirmishes, disagreements about priorities and even power struggles until everyone has found his or her place. This phase is characterized by a high level of doing things simply for the sake of doing something—but a low level of efficiency. Some groups break apart in this phase. Successful team development therefore means mutual acceptance and agreeing clear roles. The norming phase thus re-aligns the group towards the actual task. Only when the members finally cooperate, can a group become a high-performing team. You accept and appreciate the others, help each other out and act as one. There is a good working atmosphere and the team is in sync.

The main focus of successful team development is an ambitious objective that everything revolves around, namely the performance challenge. By jointly defining an objective and a plan for how it is to be achieved, you can quickly go through the team development process. Here, too, there are three questions to answer: Where do we want to go? Where are we today? and What do we need to do to reach our goal?

In conclusion: Successful team development and joint strategy development go hand in hand—as a simultaneous process, not as separate or one-off events.

Contact me if you need a sparring partner for your own strategy and team development process.