Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Perfect team

Extract from a book by Mike Wash – 54 Tools and Techniques for Business Excellence. Published by MB2000. Oct 2007


Can you recognize or relate to this?



Case study 1: The Perfect Team

The anticipation of meeting up again was always mixed with excitement

and a little anxiety. Excitement because of the potential of us producing

something special, the anxiety – well, I guess my own insecurity of wanting

to do well and not let anyone down.

Our meeting room is not ideal, yet its limitations dwindle into

insignificance once we launch into the task in hand.

The noise levels before we start reflect the frantic catching up with each

other, the quick re-establishment of friendships and the exchange of

questions and insights about our journey together so far.

We start on time, our leader calling us all together and although we do

have one or two people drifting in, they are greeted with recognition that

they will be giving themselves a bad time for being late and are quickly

integrated with support.

We get down to the task in hand, immediately we fall into role, everyone

knowing exactly what’s expected of them, and we all have that bit of spare

capacity to look around and check if everyone else is OK and clear. In

every team there are different levels of ability and in our team, we are

blessed with high flyers, yet they are also recognised as equal team

members and will readily create a coaching partnership passing on secrets

of extraordinary performance to the less able.

Most teams will also develop cliques, and in ours, well they are not so

much cliques, but naturally developing sub-groups coming together through

age or genuine friendships – these dynamics are used to an advantage,

offering additional support to each other and are viewed as a norm, rather

than a threat.

We are all clear about the ultimate goal and every time we meet – the

goal and vision is colourfully illustrated reminding us of the incentive for

giving our best and the ultimate sense of satisfaction we will all feel

knowing what we will have achieved.

It’s not all plain sailing – there are mistakes. Yet, when this happens,

not only the individuals concerned crave to understand why, they also

demand feedback so they can learn to improve. These moments can be

intense yet the feedback is expressed with sensitivity and skill and everyone

pays attention as this moment may offer that gem of learning and insight to

help each one of us.

We make rapid progress and the contribution each one makes begins to

create a synergy unique to the collective experience and skills we all bring.



We usually meet towards the end of the day, yet even though many of us

are tired, sometimes exhausted, the uplift and adrenaline found in us

working together dissipates any weariness.

The facilitating skills of our leader are apparent, bringing us in

appropriately so our contribution is valued and maximised and each time he

offers guidance and direction, we become clearer on how collectively we

are progressing toward our goal. Somehow, we simultaneously work at an

individual, group and organisational level where, almost by magic, we can

be sure the information or resources will be presented in such a way that

demonstrates real empathy for what each one of us is trying to achieve.

We develop a form of temporary dependency on each other and with

this goes a real sense of responsibility to follow through, and a trust that

your team members will do the same.

The smiles are greatest when moments of creative spontaneity produce

innovative ideas that make a difference between standard performance and

extraordinary performance. Every idea is valued, at the same time; those

with experience are well respected, so it’s the marriage of differences that

create a real sense of special satisfaction.

At the end of our meeting, there’s a sense of reluctance to part quickly –

almost as if there is some unfinished business – this is often confirmed

when we decide to debrief socially and relax together as friends, laughing,

joking and already planning together for the next milestone on our journey

together toward this single goal that binds us as a team.



Rehearsal night for the UK Premier of

‘Titanic – The Musical’

Performed by The York Musical Theatre Company


Book available from


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