After extensive research in the UK into the impact of team working on mortality rates in surgery teams, it was clear that good team working saved lives!

In your organization, the results from effective team working may not have such dramatic consequences, but you will certainly be seeing sustainable growth in quality, innovation and profitability.

So, the challenges you and your team may need to deal with to improve results could be listed as follows: that it’s new and needs to pull together to respond to specific targets, or it’s performing below its capability given the quality of the team members, or it’s unclear about strategy and objectives that contribute to the business growth? Or perhaps, the real reasons for under-performance have yet to be identified and/or surface!

So, what are the factors that make a great team? I would suggest that there are six:

1. Team members with complimentary skills and styles: research by Belbin showed that just having the brightest individuals produced poor teamwork

2. Shared purpose: a real commitment to a common belief

3. Focus on results: the team is clear what it has to achieve

4. Mutual accountability: shared responsibility to deliver on the objectives

5. Effective leadership: understanding when sharing leadership can be more efficient than single leadership

6. Trust: the foundation upon which all of the above must be built upon

Aligning all six of these factors is not straightforward, and this is something that is constantly evolving with the changes within the business environment, internally and externally.