Building a High Performance Team

By: Kate Ripp

How productive are your people?
How can you create an environment that generates results for today?
How can you tap into the true potential of your team?

Today’s business environment is one of which individuals are working harder than ever just to achieve the same results as in past years. It’s tough to accomplish the goals that your annual strategy promises and to find more effective ways of working.

The average team in business achieves only 63% of the objectives of their strategic plans.

Where is the gap and what gets in the way?

The key issues are how your people communicate as a team, align on key goals, develop short and long-term plans and hold themselves accountable to deliver the results. The amazing thing is that many know this but view them as “soft skills’, so lack the ongoing discipline and rigor to develop the culture to ensure that these issues are addressed each and every day.

What can you do to close the performance gap in your business?

Know that your people are your business. More than your strategy, your marketing plan, or your systems, people are the key to your success. To transform your business, transform your people.

Getting your people to work together in a powerful way, taking personal responsibility for their own performance, as well as that of the overall business, will generate measurable improvement every time. The secret lies in making sure that everyone—including you—is aligned and committed to a high say/do ratio to results.

Here are 5 key disciplines to make this happen

1. Include everyone in your top team in the creation of the real plan that’s going to drive the business for the next year. They have a chance to let you know how things look from their perspective and you have the benefit of their experience and insight. We’ve learned time and again the truth of the adage that people will not destroy what they have helped to create.

2. Review what happened in the past and learn from it. Start with a thorough review of the past year—what did we achieve together and where did we fail?

First focus on achievements—just the good news. It’s easy to focus on issues and problems to the exclusion of achievements and successes.

Then consider those areas where you came short of your goals. This exercise has nothing to do with pointing fingers and everything to do with creating a realistic picture of the current status of the team and the business.
Finally, discover the lessons from what happened and align on the top three that would make the most difference to your success.

3. Examine limiting assumptions and shift them. The most challenging job is to tackle the limiting beliefs that drive the entire business—they shape culture. You’ve got to shift limiting attitudes or paradigms to those that generate the culture and vision you want to produce together. The right attitude generates excitement, commitment and buy-in that shows in every area of their work as individuals and as a team.

4. Align on the top team priorities at every level of the business. Ask each person on the top team to identify the one or two priorities for their area of responsibility and to present those to the entire team and explain their choices. Once all the goals have been presented, together select the top ten goals for the year. Although all goals may be pursued, your team will benefit from a focus on the ten that most ensure overall success.

5. Establish monthly review sessions to monitor progress and learn from what happens. Anyone can make a plan, but executing it to get the desired results is where the breakdown usually occurs. The most important discipline to ensure success—no matter what—is a monthly review session that checks progress against the plan. This is what drives teams to produce results.

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Prior to establishing her coaching practice, KATE RIPP spent over 20 years in fast-growing, small and mid-sized corporations, in multiple business development, training, and operations leadership roles. Kate’s hands-on business knowledge offers you cutting edge solutions. To learn more about Kate and get your free report, HOW TO THRIVE IN CHAOS: Seven Principles to Leading in These Times of Upheaval, visit

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