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How to Improve Team Effectiveness


How to Improve Team Effectiveness

Guillermo Herbozo shares an evergreen post on improving team effectiveness. 

In our quest to improve team effectiveness in a sustainable way, we have come to a seemingly obvious conclusion. There is no one stand-alone intervention for making change sustainable. Improving team performance requires a combination of efforts and interventions, as discussed on the post Coaching is critical but is not enough.

What has also become clear to us is that if a team wants to obtain and sustain improvement they also need to sustain the behaviors that helped the team grow in the first place. In addition, sustaining results typically requires a steady change in teams’ support structure.

‘Magical’ solutions that offer to transform the skills of your organization in a couple of weeks of training are in extinction (or should be). That doesn’t mean that you should look forward to having an external change agent supporting your team forever. It also doesn’t mean that specialized traditional training wouldn’t still add value to your teams. It means that organizations that are looking to have sustainable results need to equip their team leaders to become strong change agents and that the approach to training needs to change.

In the context of improving team effectiveness, awareness and skill building need to start somewhere (as discussed on the post Getting adult learning in the workplace right). Informally, it happens every day at the workplace between colleagues. Formally, team leaders should jumpstart performance improvement and change through the regular team training sessions we call huddles.

There are 8 principles to maximize the outcome of huddles and to make changes sustainable:

  1. Huddles need to focus on skill building

The goal must be clear. These sessions are for building the skills critical to improving team performance. If your team or organization is not going to be fully committed to this goal then it’s better not to start

We often hear clients saying “We’re just going to use the next two huddles to address an urgent matter regarding HR policies”. We immediately raise a flag. In our experience once you take that road it’s the end of it. These sessions will not be really protected for building skills purposes. Other meetings should be scheduled for things such as HR policies, new systems, processes, etc., which need to happen. But again, they shouldn’t replace the skill building effort.”


Key points include:

  • Huddles need to be recurring
  • Limit the number of participants
  • Ensure adequate space and environment


Read the full article, 8 principles to get sustainable improvements from training, on Linkedin.