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You have your Strategy but do you have a High Performing Team?

TMS and TMP for High Performance Teams

How a Team Management Profile can assist effectiveness and business growth

Over the course of the last thirty years, Paul Forrest has worked with many businesses to help them develop or finesse their strategy. Whilst many have arrived at compelling perspectives on what the future looks like and how they are going to get there, it is clear that many have yet to crack perhaps the most central tenet – building a High Performing Team capable of delivering their strategy.

Fast forward to the last few years with the prevalence of Growth hacking, disruptive innovation and fail fast and we see the task of developing and maintaining a High-Performance Team becoming even more of a challenge. With these three ‘magnifiers’ the likelihood of a team struggling to implement the strategy is also increased. 

As usual, these are Paul’s views, based on his personal experience of using TMP to shape and develop teams with some of the UK’s highest performing disruptive innovators.

So… staff and the team in general are important?

Well we already knew that… Business growth and more generally, a business’s success, is highly dependent upon employee engagement and performance. The issue that arises often is that a business has designated goals for team members but does not understand the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals they employ and so the team is unevenly balanced. As a result, projects lag or fail to meet the expectation of shareholders and investors. Think about it this way, some people are naturally suited to undertaking tasks related to project and programme management, others are more at home selling but this is the tip of the iceberg as there are many other categories of activity people are ‘best suited to’ and so is the list of the attributes needed by a business to achieve its strategic goals on a path of minimal resistance.

Why do we feel motivated by some tasks and not others?

Since the early 2000s I have utilised a variety of tools to help to understand this issue and the challenge of assembling high performing teams. It’s not about getting rid of those who don’t fit or positively discriminating to recruit ‘different types’. It’s about building knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the team you have, what their strengths are, their personal preferences and how to galvanise them to work together to become the most effective version of the team needed.

So… my favourite tool for this? Well after much thought and looking back at the highest performing teams I have worked with (and how we built them), it’s the Team Management Profile (TMP). I have to stress, it’s not the only tool but it goes a long way to shining a light on how to align interests and preferences to ensure that the team can become an effective and successful unit.

What are TMP tools?

TMPs, or team management profiles, are typically web based tools which are provided to team members to better develop and organise projects. But before a person can create a profile, a TMPQ (Team Management Profile Questionnaire) needs to be performed. This assessment is a 60-item survey focusing on various aspects and attitudes that an individual has towards their work environment. Once the questionnaire is completed, a Team Management Profile is created and an individual is categorised as being one of the following:

  • An Explorer – Best suited for Promoting, Developing, and Innovating
  • An Organiser – Best suited for Organising, Producing, and Developing
  • A Controller – Best suited for Producing, Inspecting, and Maintaining
  • An Adviser – Best suited for Maintaining, Advising, and Innovating

What you should note is that the categorisation overlaps slightly. This is because the ranking is based upon a wheel and that the questionnaire understands that while there are some dominant attributes of a person in one area, they still may have some contributing traits for another section. It is important that when you build your team, that you diversify the skillsets and the character traits of various people within the team. A strong team will be comprised of members which are strong in one of these four areas. Additionally, team builders should realize that even within these sections, there will be those with certain traits which are stronger than others within that category. For example, you may find that you have more developers than you have producers. While these team members are within the realm of Organisers, their skill set is limited to that of one sector.

Individuality and the collaborative whole

The team management system is designed with a dual intent. On the one hand, the tools allow for an individual to understand their working relationship with the people whom they are working with. It allows for insights to the person’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for personal as well as professional growth. On the other hand, the organisation benefits from TMP tools as employers can build teams based upon the various strengths and weaknesses. Instead of having a team which is full of advisers or controllers, the team can be balanced allowing for an optimisation of productivity.

Where are you most likely to focus your energies?

Perhaps the greatest factor lending to the building of a high-performance team, is the premise on which it is built. Unlike some tools which offer a onetime solution to a problem, team management profiles are designed to help with ongoing growth and responsibility. The role of each person on the team is identified and so individuals can hone in on what areas need to be improved upon for better efficiency and growth. Organisations can see the dominant traits of those that they employ. Should a business find that they dominantly have explorers, then a focus on controllers would be ideal as the overlapping qualities would help to build organisers and advisers. This is also where a business or organisation can focus their attentions in training and personal development. In order to build a high-performance team, a business should focus on the areas which are weak or lacking. Should a business find that they need to focus on innovation, then workshops and modules can be created to train and empower employees in such areas.

Building your team

With TMP, teams can be built based upon the ‘Margerison MCCann Types of Work Model’ wheel or the Team Management wheel. Individuals are paired with other members who have contrasting dominant traits. For example, promoting would be linked with inspecting. This keeps the balance of the project from becoming too idealistic and more realistic to the end results.

Building high performance teams builds a solid reputation

Being productive is one thing, but having a company which has a reputation for getting the project done correctly the first time is more valuable. Businesses which do not use models such as TMP are more apt to see sporadic or unfulfilled results in their projects than those who do.   As I said earlier, TMP businesses with whom I have worked are powerhouse performers, capable of delivering promised growth and challenging the norm with disruptive innovation, growth hacking and new methods of working to minimise waste such as ‘fail fast’. The reason for this is that these companies have a gauge or barometer which can be used to aid the assembly of a strong team rather than just relying upon either past performance reviews or upon the individual’s claim to be able to do the job. And while the individual may be able to perform well in a certain setting, if he or she is thrown outside of his or her element, then the project will show it.

Can you afford not to invest in your team?

So… with issues and challenges about the pace of change, the need to have a team with the potential to match the declared strategic aims and with the external threats of being outperformed by other disruptors and the inevitable new kid on the block, can you afford not to invest in your team? Clearly, affordability is all important here, but assuming you work for an organisation where you take personal and professional development seriously, then the (very) small price to pay to understand more about the architecture of your team delivers exponential return on investment.

Don’t take my work for it! Contact me if you’d like to read some case studies or know more about running an exercise such as TMP and I will put you in touch with the someone who can tell you more. Sold already or want to give it a go? Contact me for a promotionally priced single user profile so you can understand how the TMP works based on your own personal preferences and how value can be added to even the highest performing organisations.

More on TMP here, or feel free to click here to discuss your team development needs with an accredited TMP facilitator. Find out why over 1.25 million people in public and private sector organisations worldwide have used TMP to deliver and enhance their reputation, reliability and results.

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