Boost your success with high-performance teams

We enjoy working with high-performance teams and helping them achieve success. Indeed, it is one of our very favourite areas of activity. To give you an idea of how a high-performance team can make the difference, we would like tell you about our experience.

Are you completely satisfied with your team? Could it be better? Are you wondering what is blocking performance and fun for your employees – or even for yourself?

Two years ago, we started working with the sales team of a major German insurance company that was faced with blockages. At the beginning of the process, two out of eight branches in the region had received top internal rankings; the other six had not performed particularly well. The team as a whole, therefore, was ranked in position 22 out of 29 in comparison to other regions. The management was not at all happy with this performance. Collaboration within the team was blocked internally, team members were not benefiting from each other and, as a result, the team was falling substantially short of its performance potential.

At that time, the individual team members were concentrating on their own personal success, working in an excessively competitive environment. Today – two years, several team workshops and coaching sessions later – this internal competition has disappeared. Instead, the sales team is working in a co-opetitive environment, in which team members compete fairly but, at the same time, provide each other with mutual support. They take advantage of their autonomy at work, appreciate the direct and constructive feedback culture and, through mutual respect, resolve conflicts constructively. The regional team has worked its way up to position 8 in the ranking, joining the front runners – not by grimly battling against its foes but by working with good will, motivation and enjoying success.

You can also do what this team did if you really want to.

Turn your team into a high-performance team

A high-performance team is more than just an efficient working group. It is characterized by a synergy of the available team sources and above-average interpersonal communication. The team members share a common vision and goals, and it is essential that their roles and skills complement each other. Teams have to be staffed with the right people and the right leaders. While an executive can never be perfect in all areas, a team and a company are unbeatable if they are able to cooperate perfectly at different levels.

Achieving this is not rocket science, but is rooted in the teachings of modern economics and psychology. Game theory plays a major role. For example, »co-opetition«, which can benefit every team, is based on game theory. Co-opetition occurs when internal competition and reciprocal social support interact. As a result, the team as a whole performs better with each team member individually extending his or her own potential and personal performance. Elements like »no babysitting« and »clear staffing decisions« are an integral part of this approach. After all, there is nothing soft and cuddly about working in a high-performance team. In a joint flow process, a motivating atmosphere emerges within the team and, simultaneously, the team's success becomes visible.

We don't promise miracles because we are always very honest with our clients. But all people taking part in this sometimes arduous process can expect a collective sense of major achievement at the end. And this is not only derived from the outstanding figures and money, it is also because they experience the great feeling of having achieved something unbelievable together. You can expect it to be an intensive process, which will take at least eighteen months. In a first workshop, you define your visionary goal – »your masterpiece«. In the »fire process«, each member of the team has to prove that he or she is »red hot« about the forthcoming development to become a high-performance team. Each participant enters into a personal coaching agreement.

We will be there at your side when the initial euphoria dies down and you are faced with the tough goal set in the first team workshop in your day-to-day working life. The second team workshop helps you to cope with disillusionment, transforming it into lasting positive momentum. Behaviour can only be changed permanently when an individual analyses the current situation honestly and accepts that the way he or she has been working until now is not enough. The so-called Proschwitz circle, a daily meeting with rotating responsibilities, helps to anchor the workshop's topics firmly in the minds of participants. Success follows almost automatically. The team performs better, sets new records, which become a permanent part of the continuing process.

A true high-performance team is always hungry for the next challenge. This does not only apply to the performance of the team as a whole; each team member also individually strives for his or her own personal growth. Because ultimately a top team is made up of individual strong personalities, who know themselves and monitor their own strengths and weaknesses.

You and your team will be rewarded with fun, flow and recognition together with maximum and lasting success with your work.

Three questions to Stefan Lammers

What made you decide to give up your successful corporate career and set up your own business?
My decision was influenced by three factors. Firstly, I did not agree with the company's new strategy back then and, as a result, I immediately decided to resign. I have no problem taking responsibility for a decision when I completely stand behind it. Secondly, already at the age of 14, I wanted to set up my own business one day. And in 2000 the time had come to do so.

By then I had acquired sufficient experience working in a broad variety of companies in positions of responsibility. I now wanted to share this experience. And, thirdly, it was about freedom. Freedom to perform and freedom to make mistakes. Freedom to manage my own time, although I actually work more than most people I know. But I have achieved self-actualisation with my hobby. One of my favourite working days is Sunday, by the way. As a result, I have free time I can use during the week.

Which mega-trends do you see in the area of management?
From which angle shall we look at the issue? The young generation that is currently entering the labour market is placing new demands on managers. They want to be inspired; they often take on less responsibility and only rarely want to lead. As a result, today's decision-makers are reacting with disappointment. Rather than adapting flexibly, the new demands have led to a circle-the-wagons mindset. Executives are currently still sitting in their ivory towers, convinced that they can continue as they did in the past. Alarmingly, this actually often still works – but it can only be a matter of time until it is no longer the case. Hopefully the talented people, who are currently still stuck in the second echelon of the corporate ladder, are not despairing. We need courageous leaders and a more open and responsible management culture which builds stronger structures, combined with a high orientation to success and willingness to change.

Success beacons are required for this type of leadership to gain acceptance in Germany – in other words, executives who tell their stories to the general public. Send us your own management success story.

Share your knowledge and your experience with us and other managers so that we can learn from each other and jointly rise to today's challenges. We will publish stories about particularly successful changes or relevant experiences at our website.

Be a forerunner in a strong movement.

How can I tell that SLBB is more than a network of lone warriors?
SLBB is more than a loosely networked group of stray consultants. Indeed, we regularly work together on joint products and concepts and share our know-how. Of course there is always an area of tension where the balance between autonomy and togetherness has to be found. We all invest several days a year in joint training sessions, product development and identity-building. Above all, our collaboration is grounded in our shared values, experience and high-quality standards. Having worked as a lone warrior for 15 years, the time had come for me to work in a team again. And it also meets the demands of our customers. Today SLBB receives more enquiries than ever for team, division and organizational concepts, projects that sometimes continue over several years. As a strong team, we are able to successfully provide the appropriate solutions.

Book tip

Marshall Goldsmith
»What got you here won't get you there: How successful people become even more successful«
America's leading career coach's concept for success

I am successful – but what now? With self-sabotaging behaviours, even successful people sometimes unwittingly prevent themselves from reaching their top achievement level and fully exploiting their potential. The exceptional management trainer Marshall Goldsmith describes what really matters. He knows that it is often seemingly small flaws that can turn into major career obstructions. Drawing on examples, he shows how they can be overcome. He explains his approach clearly and sensitively – together with a healthy dose of humour.