What Organizations Can Do to Promote Teamwork: 1. Provide a Roadmap

Because Leadership is a Team Sport

More and more organizations are looking at teams as an approach to better deal with disruptive technologies and macroeconomic changes, extract more learning from experience, and deliver better products and services to customers. 

Although most organizations talk a good game when it comes to fostering teamwork, research shows that the odds of any team becoming high performing are at best only one in five. 

This implies that organizations are falling short of the mark when it comes to having the conditions necessary to create high performing teams. 


There are five things organizations can do to help transform collections of individuals into high performing teams, and these do not require any additional funding or time. They do, however, require focused attention and deliberate action. The first of these actions is to provide leaders with a framework for building high performing teams.

The vocational psychologist David Campbell once stated, “If you don’t know where you are going, then you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” 

“If you don’t know where you are going, then you’ll probably end up somewhere else..png

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The same is true for teams. Team leaders from around the world know good and bad teamwork when they see it but cannot describe what they need to do to make effective teamwork happen. They need a roadmap that describes the components of high performing teams and the levers they need to pull if they want to improve team performance.

Some of the more common roadmaps being used in organizations include Tuckman’s Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing Model, Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Katzenbach and Smith’s Team Basic’s Model, Hackman’s Team Diagnostic Model, and Curphy and Hogan’s Rocket Model.

Advantages vs Disadvantages

Each of these roadmaps have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, research has found the Tuckman model does not work particularly well in situations where teams have clear goals and authority dynamics are at play (i.e., most work teams), and there is no evidence or research to back up the Lencioni model.

The other models are more similar than different, but the Curphy and Hogan model is the most comprehensive and based on research conducted on 1,500 global work teams.

Organizations wanting to improve teamwork need to provide team leaders with a robust and valid roadmap for making high performing teams happen.

  1. Does your organization have a well understood framework for building high performing teams?
  2. Have your team leaders been taught this model and do they use it when launching and managing teams?



Gordon Curphy and Dianne Nilsen are leadership consultants specializing in succession planning, executive coaching, top team facilitation, and leadership development. Together they have written 21 books and numerous chapters and articles on leadership and teams. You can find more about Gordon and Dianne’s leadership books and consulting services at: www.curphyleadershipsolutions.comand www.TheRocketModel.com.