To start with, let us define a high-performing team. Based on my experience from many years within the technology and manufacturing industry, a high-performance team is, among other things, characterized by:
- Commitment beyond individual team members.
- Dedication to collaboration and to involving each other.
- Productiveness and effectiveness – and householding with efforts.
- Sharing a clear goal, aligned with the whole team.
- Delivering superior results with a strong competitive advantage to the business.
What about leadership style? Clear, intimate, supportive, and enabling skills provides teams with guidance and the right circumstances. Over the past two decades, a variety of teams and leaders have crossed my way. What I know for sure is that culture, alignment, collaboration and allowing for and valuing different opinions are all a recipe for high performance and success, in any organization. These are also elements we try to infuse in all teams at Cognizant – and when we partner with you, our clients. As for further leadership inspiration within the tech industry, check out Forbes’ list of the 14 most influential tech leaders.
View complementary skills as an advantage
Academic studies show that teams that function well together and perform on the higher end have skills that are highly complementary to each other in terms of team member contribution. Studies have also found that a highly productive team is strongly related to individual complementary differences.
The appreciation of complementary skills and diverse experiences may foster, if encouraged correctly, a culture of innovative thinking and curiosity, in both people, culture and products, helping you as an organization to move forward with the adoption of new ways of working and being successful. So, make sure that your team views differences in background, skills, experience and abilities as an advantage rather than something they have to “manage”.
Executing smart collaboration
Want to help team members stop holding back? Executing intelligent communication and collaboration within the team helps release their full potential. Here are my top tips for accomplishing it:
1. As a leader, you must recognize building a high-performing team is not coincidental! It takes commitment and starts with you truly knowing where people will perform at their best.
2. Providing clear, nimble and effective communication helps you and your team understand each other and the tasks that are to be performed.
3. High-performance teams have a clear, unified understanding of their goals and consider their goals important.
4. Show compliance, intimacy and support for each other to foster belonging, respect, trust, and enable innovation within the team.
5. Make sure to enable your team and provide them with the right tools; it could be just listening or guiding them.
6. Foster a culture of desire and obligation to deliver on your responsibilities and help others succeed to do the same.
If your end goal is to foster innovation, and creative thinking and a culture that enables this focus heavily on appreciation for diversity as it will allow for improvement and future success. Leadership that values this aspect is crucial during a digital transformation because of the simple fact that it helps cultivate a growth mindset and effective collaboration across teams.