Team Development

Build high performing teams

All programs tailored to your context

UGM Team Development Programs

Build a High Performing Team

For teams (or similar organisational units)

Teams in Complex Contexts

For teams working in complex environments

Contact us for a free team development consult

Team development

high performing teams

Why are some teams ‘more intelligent’ than others?

Research shows that some teams are ‘more intelligent’ than others. While one may assume that the aggregate of individual intelligence of team members is the key factor, it accounts for less than half of group intelligence.

Teams that score as more intelligent than others seem to share a number of common factors. First, it seems as if they understand the impact of communication. It’s not just the volume (which is ‘just right’) of exchanges, but also their quality that is superior than many more ordinary teams.

Vitally, intelligent teams also included team members much more of the time. Whereas low performing teams often had one or two individuals dominating the exchanges, intelligent teams had a much more even distribution of exchanges among all team members. Since communication is a vital channel for individuals brainpower, it stands to reason that accessing more of the team’s brainpower lifts team performance.

Unfortunately, intentional team development is not a common practice in organisations, and even less so when project teams or working groups come together. However, with even quite basic team development, you can turn average performing teams into high performing, intelligent teams.

When complex challenges must also be tackled in the presence of significant cultural differences, leaders need cultural competence if they are to avoid failure. Poor levels of cultural competence trigger a downward spiral, eroding trust and jeopardising results.”

Source: UGM and various recent studies

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Criteria Our Clients Value

Here’s what clients value in UGM team building events

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Build a High Performing Team

This program is suited to:

  • Any group of people that operate together as a team. For example, front-line teams, project groups where people contribute according to role, teams of team leaders, and different level ‘management teams’. Teams have become a critically important part of how most work gets done in organisations, in the hope they’ll get the kinds of benefits high performing sports teams deliver. Yet, many organisations don’t devote much time specifically to developing their teams as units, which is markedly different from what happens for high performing sports teams.

Program Benefits

  • Teams engage immediately with this hands-on module which, though it is built on a solid evidence base, has a very strong practical orientation.
  • Team members value understanding their own and each others preferred work style and identify whether or not any important team styles are missing from the team.
  • Individuals benefit from time spent reflecting on their personal contributions to the team and have an opportunity to exchange perceptions with a colleague.
  • As well as providing the team with a well-proven framework as well as tangible skills, behaviours and tools, the module serves as a powerful booster shot for team development.

Interactive mini-module modules

Analyse individual work preferences

Analyse individual work preferences and reflect on how this contributes to building and sustaining a high performing team.

Generate a shared model for working together

Generate a shared understanding of how the team might best work together and use a shared model and language to plan for success and diagnose any missteps along the way.

Promote change agility through process

Learn how to plan with the end in mind and use frequent evaluation of progress to get better decision-making up front and high quality evaluation and learning throughout.

Develop ‘collective intelligence’

Understand key communication skills and associated behaviours that build collective intelligence.

Help individuals become high performers

Reflect on the competencies of high performing individuals and how these apply in the context of your team.

Teams in Complex Contexts

This module is for:

  • Frontline teams that work in challenging contexts resulting from highly changeable factors in their environment.
  • Project teams faced with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
  • Senior leadership teams of organisations that would be better managed using a ‘team of teams’ approach than more traditional, siloed structures.

Module Benefits

  • A proven, highly practical and evidence-based module that highlights leadership/management approaches that are fit for context – these are different from traditional approaches which are often found wanting in complex contexts.
  • Practical frameworks and range of tools and tips to work and succeed in complex contexts.
  • An opportunity to develop and practise tools and techniques during the workshop. People often deploy their skills within minutes of the module ending!

Interactive mini-module modules

Recognise there are different problem types

Understand, through powerful practical examples, that problems can be usefully classified into one of four broad categories. Based on these insights, explore and resolve problems based on their context context.

Understand why complexity demands special attention

Understand why volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) contexts often result in traditional management approaches being insufficient, and sometimes not even applicable.

Practise using tools suited to complex contexts

Use powerful suite of tools and frameworks that are well suited to solving problems and managing in complex contexts.

Learn skills for managing teams in complex contents

Learn essential skills that will improve team functioning in complex contexts, including ways to encourage your team to disagree without being disagreeable and how to structure ‘teams’ in ways that fit the context.

Facilitating Team Building (and Offsites)

When might you want facilitation?

  • You want to use an offsite to review the past year and set team plans that align with current strategy for the year ahead.
  • The team has been through challenging times and you’d like to repair any misunderstandings and build trust for improved collaboration going forward.
  • A high performing team is being rewarded with a special team event for meeting targets. You want to ensure that the event sends the right messages, is business focused yet also engaging and motivating.

Strategy Facilitation Benefits

  • In partnership with UGM’s expert team, design an offsite session that zero’s in on the specific needs of your team, business and its context.
  • Allow your business leaders to contribute and collaborate fully during your team development event, using UGM’s experienced facilitators to manage the flow of the event.
  • Participate in a process that draws on evidence-based frameworks and tools to support collaborative thinking and problem solving.
  • Benefit from ‘engaged’ facilitation, where expert and experienced facilitators are able to genuinely challenge thinking and assertions, including sensitively tackling any ‘elephants in the rooms’.

Contact us for a free team building consult

Team development briefings from the UGM archive

WE HAVE Answers

Ask Us Anything About Developing Teams

Context is all important in determining whether or not a team is high performing. At the very least, team outcomes will be greater than the sum of individual efforts.

High performing teams have a range of characteristics that deliver achievement of task, maintenance of team, and support for individual team members. From a task perspective, this includes clear purpose, and agile planning, implementation, and evaluation (with learning). The team needs to have solid communication (including beyond the team) and work together in ways that capture the diversity dividend. High performing teams often distribute roles, including the leadership function, based on context. Individuals are competent and inclusive, and willingly step into roles, including assuming leadership (or following) according to context.

Yes, team size does matter. Ideal team size is very much a context-based consideration. Ultimately, you’re wanting to ensure you have enough people to tackle the assigned task. But, an equally important factor is the cost it takes to have people work together effectively as a team (which you wouldn’t have if people just worked by themselves). Smaller teams will see individuals needing to take on more. Larger teams, working on the same problem, will be faced with the overhead of communicating and coordinating and, over time, keeping people motivated and aligned.

The term team implies a group of individuals who work together with the purpose of fulfilling particular outcomes. Often, different team members will contribute specific skills, and the expectation is that the team will achieve more than the sum of individual effort. The exact nature of roles and contributions differs according to context, so looking for a ‘typical team’ isn’t of much use. Teams are a lot more fluid, changing according to changes in context. X-Teams, for example, are teams whose core and peripheral membership changes according to what needs to be done. Network teams, as another example, include roles such as connectors and brokers that ensure the team is able to make effective contributions within its ‘ecosystem’.

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