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The Habits

THE SCIENCE OF SUCCESSFUL TEAMS
WHY THESE 8 HABITS?

We wanted to know if there were any common ways of working that were shared by teams that had a strong track record of achieving exceptional performance. One in 10 teams fall into this category and we discovered that their performance relied on a lot more than the individual talent within the team.

“ To make the most progress quickly the team need to work on their priority habits in the right order.”

Top teams shared 8 team habits, 4 of which are about the inner game — how the team work together, and 4 on the outer game — how the team works externally in the wider organisation.

UNDERSTANDING THE HABITS

THE OUTER HABITS

The top half of the diagnostic maps the external habits that contribute to your Team’s impact. They measure key behaviours and ways of working that drives high performance for your team.


THE INNER HABITS

The lower half of the diagnostic maps the internal habits that are the foundations of your Team’s effectiveness. The inner habits reflect how your team works together to unlock their full potential.

Focusing on the team habits that really matter, based on the context of the team, is what unlocks performance. To make the most progress quickly the team need to work on their priority habits in the right order.

Over the last 10 years Meta Team has worked with thousands of teams to work out not only what the priority habits are, but how to sequence them in the right order for maximum impact.

THE HABITS

THE OUTER HABITS

TAKING ACTION

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams are typically responsive, dynamic and overcome obstacles.

They understand where and how they make the greatest impact, and act decisively to deliver on their commitments at speed. They can strike the right balance between sharing, thinking and doing — quickly flexing their resources to meet key challenges and opportunities.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

Taking action is built on trust, agility, and discipline. When this habit is weak decision making can lack focus and teams often struggle to prioritise.

Individual team members can feel frustrated with a lack of team progress and respond by focusing on individual delivery — so silos emerge. This can mean the collective impact of the team is less than the sum of its parts.

INFLUENCING

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams share trusted relationships with their key influencers that are built to last.

The team knows what is most important to their influencers and inspires them with a compelling story. This helps the team to get the support it needs to succeed, amplifying impact and results.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

Influencing is the basis for teams being trusted — enabling them to fulfil their shared purpose.

When this habit is weak teams often end up being pulled in multiple directions and feel frustrated that they aren’t getting the support they need to succeed. Too much focus is placed on what’s happening inside the team, which gets in the way of inspiring their key influencers.

AGILITY

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams think strategically, creating and synthesising a unique view of the landscape inside and outside of the team.

The team often share a curiosity and openness to fresh thinking and a willingness to challenge established ways of doing things. Teams are open to risk, accepting that it’s ok to fail fast and learn fast.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

Agility is highly correlated with a team’s ability to innovate and find new ways of delivering value.

When this habit is weak teams often deal with issues in isolation, getting stuck in the day-to-day tactics. This means teams can struggle to find time to think about what may be ahead, so the status quo is often unchallenged, with teams putting out one fire here and another fire there.

ADAPTING

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams are consistently looking for and seizing opportunities to improve.

They learn from mistakes and make significant gains in performance and value. The team shares a clear understanding about what they need to collaborate on and how they need to connect with others.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

How a team scores on improving is highly correlated to overall team performance.

When this habit is weak teams often struggle recognise their shortcomings and miss opportunities to improve how they work together. This limits their ability to deepen influence and they struggle to take their performance to the next level.

79% Distracted

Teams say multiple priorities are pulling them in different directions.

— META TEAM DATA —

26% Unsure

Teams do not have a clear and compelling team purpose.

— META TEAM DATA —

It’s difficult

“No wonder team development is difficult as traditional approaches aren’t sufficient so companies are missing a trick.”

— META TEAM DATA —

23% Increase

A proven increase in performance and value from those teams that displayed the eight high-performing habits — tested with over 1000 teams from around the world.

— META TEAM DATA —

41% Struggle

Teams struggle to improve how they work together.

— META TEAM DATA —

26% Unaware

Teams do not recognise their shortcomings

— META TEAM DATA —

THE INNER HABITS

TRUST

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams share a genuine spirit of togetherness, where each team member feels able to be themselves and make the most of their individual talents.

Strong levels of trust help the team to have the tough conversations needed to get unstuck, remove barriers to progress, and strengthen their belief in what can be achieved together.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

How a team scores on Trust is strongly correlated to their speed of action, agility and innovation.

When this habit is weak teams can be slow to act and less open to taking risks. Often, teams with low levels of trust are either in artificial harmony, or a climate of tension and unhealthy internal politics.

RESILIENCE

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams often share a passion and commitment to succeed as a group.

They hold each other mutually accountable for delivering the team’s goals and are relentless at overcoming roadblocks that may get in the way.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

Resilience is the strongest determinant of the team’s overall effectiveness.

When this habit is weak teams can feel overwhelmed with their own work commitments, so they don’t step forward to take the initiative for team goals. Individual agendas can pull them in different directions, making it harder to have the time and energy to overcome the shared obstacles the team are facing.

PURPOSE

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams typically share a deep understanding about the expectations of their key influencers.

Aligning their day-to-day work to the team’s purpose and strategic direction is second nature. They hold each other accountable to deliver on the team’s shared goals in a constructive and supportive way.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

Teams who share a strong purpose have a greater impact.

When this habit is weak teams have competing priorities pulling them in different directions — it can feel like spinning plates. They can often lose focus on what's most important, so tension increases between the team, its influencers, stakeholders and customers.

FOCUS

WHEN THE HABIT IS STRONG

When this habit is strong teams are tightly integrated, focussed on hitting deadlines, productive, and are able to course-correct.

Teams with strong focus improve and build trust with their key influencers off the back of their reliability to deliver.

WHEN THE HABIT IS WEAK

How a team scores on focus is often related to its resilience, agility, and speed of action.

When this habit is weak teams often lack discipline and speed of action, and consequently energy falls, and errors can increase. They struggle to find the time to monitor and flex plans, often improvising and making it up as they go along.

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