This is the third in a series of blogs on Growing Great Teams.  If you missed the previous blogs you can find them here – Part 1 and Part 2


What is the key to having a high performing team?

The answer to this question lies in the distinction between a high performing team or a team of high performers.

The distinction is set in the culture and the leadership of the organisation, and how it promotes a sense of team, while at the same time valuing the individual.



Promoting a sense of TEAM:

It is the WHY, the VISION, the VALUES and the NEEDS that create the culture that attracts the individuals who come together with a common understanding that they are building something that matters – something bigger than themselves.  There is a keen sense of value transfer.

A shared belief in the WHY, in the VISION and the VALUES of the organisation adds to both the cohesiveness of the team and the power of collective focus.  The importance of this intangible as a precursor to a high performing team is very clearly evident when it is lacking.  A team fractured by a lack of cohesiveness and focus is not conducive to a “healthy” sustainable business model.

Valuing the INDIVIDUAL:

It is the recognition of the NEEDS of the people that demonstrates the value placed on the individual by the organisation.  On one level, meeting human needs in a business community is a powerful way of keeping the team together for longer and on another level it is a very individualistic process.  What can be incorporated in the business to meet the 6 human needs – to provide certainty, variety, connection, significance, growth and contribution?

Consider this:

  • If significance is important then how do you celebrate a team member’s success and the value they add?  How do you show your appreciation?
  • If growth is a driving need, then it is important to have career development plans and programs.
  • The need for variety and less structure may be met with the flexible, mobile or remote working environment, for example.  This alternative may also provide certainty for someone who is planning a family and does not want to leave the organisation.

Different needs drive different people at different times in their lives and this is why this concept is about the individual initially.  Make sure that each of these needs can be met at a high level in some way in the organisation.

Although this is an outcome of building a business culture around the 6 human needs and in particular, meeting the need for growth, it still needs to be said – part of valuing the individual is being prepared to invest in that person’s growth and development.




Creating an environment conducive to high performance is one part of the puzzle – the other is the commitment of the leaders to promoting and maintaining that environment.

In short, publishing the organisation’s intangibles and making assertions about what you do, means nothing if the team’s experience is something completely different to what they signed up for.  It is the role of the leader to walk the talk, to live the culture and to demonstrate through consistent actions and language that being on culture will enable a win-win-win for organisation, team and individual.

Of course, there lies an assumption that the culture has been designed to drive behaviours that promote the purpose of the business in the most powerful and profitable way and to attract people who will excel in this environment.

Culture works as a promoter of high performance teams when there is an understanding that it is a whole of organisation story – there can be no silos propagating their own version of the culture – led by people with personal agendas.  Culture is for the organisation as much as it is for the team.  It has been designed to create an environment conducive to the success of the business and to attract people who want to be a part of it because it serves them.  A team made up of people who are attracted to the same organisation and who have common beliefs will always outperform a fractured group of people with different agendas and contrary beliefs.

If you need help creating an environment that will attract and retain great people, we can help you – our CULTURE COLLABORATIVE workshops are designed to do just that.  We help you design cultures which meet the six human needs – cultures which breed behaviours that enable business success.

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