Part 1 - Team Start-Up to High Performance

"This is not 2 days out of work this is 2 days of work"
"I would like to thank you for your investment into our team, this is the happiest I've been for a long time; I'm far more focused and have time to take a step back and target my prey"
Luminar Leisure

This workshop is the first part of a 2-part workshop designed to help teams achieve and sustain high performance followed 6 -12 weeks later by a 2-day follow up "Team Build - On Track to High Performance".

So many teams are a team in name only. With the complexity of matrix, virtual and cross-functional teamwork, the leader is often left struggling with members who - at best - are passive bystanders. This support looks to excite teams, shifting participants from passivity, or 'every one for himself', into full-blooded team involvement and removing the tendency for the leader to go it alone when teamwork gets tough.

Teams are provided with the opportunity to achieve clarity, alignment and commitment to their goals and direction, and agree how they will work together.

A clear process and tools and techniques for progressing to high performance is provided with teams being challenged to confront their strengths and gaps as a team and put in place actions to secure increased effectiveness.

Key learning points and insights are enhanced by drawing upon lessons from the wild, taking the team back to where effective teamwork still makes the difference between life, death and species survival. Illustrated by striking video footage and analogies drawn from our South African conservation company. A highly interactive and practical experience.

Team Effectiveness Diagnostic

The team effectiveness diagnostic is completed three weeks prior to the workshop by all team members and the leader, either in a paper version or via a web enabled form. The collated report is brought into the workshop as the start point for discussion, issue identification, prioritisation and resolution.

Workshop outline

Gives details of all the standard sessions, however we are always happy to customise this workshop to meet your specific needs.


Typically 2 days.

Target Participation

This workshop is designed to suit project and permanent teams at all levels and is particularly useful for newly formed teams or teams that want to accelerate their effectiveness.

Support materials

Participants receive a copy of the comprehensive guidebook "The Practitioner's Guide to High Performance Teamwork" in which the usual dry textbook theory has been replaced with practical, action-oriented tips, text, worked examples, tools and key documents.

The clear layout enables the team to pick and choose the most useful elements for them according to the size, nature and complexity of their goals. Delegates will also be given access to over 20 invaluable templates for immediate use.

This valuable resource is available in either printed or electronic format.


This workshop is accredited with the Project Management Institute and is valued at 16 hours of study/16 Professional Development Units. More information about the PMI qualification

Ongoing development

Workshop outline


A lively, fast-paced introduction that sets the tone for the workshop, and grabs immediate attention and interest. Includes: review of agenda, ground rules, expectation-setting, and a team 'icebreaker' exercise providing data on current team effectiveness, to enable the team to benchmark their progress during the workshop

High performance team overview

This session introduces the concept of the high performance team, in which fusion and cohesion between individuals is required; and contrasts it with a group, which basically remains a collection of individuals.

Do we need to be a team?

Teams must have a compelling reason to work as a team. Otherwise, forget the task - just keeping the team together will be tough enough.

The team establishes what their compelling reason is for working together, and explores the level of interdependence required to achieve the team's goals. Teams then agree a profile that best describes them today and the strengths and issues that this current way of working brings with it.

Belonging to a high performance team

High performance teamwork demands full-blooded commitment - there are no passive bystanders. This session outlines the key players involved in securing success through teams. The challenges and opportunities confronting both team members and team leader in a high performance team are examined and compared with the current status of team membership and traditional team leadership.

The journey to high performance

So what does it take to convert a collection of individuals into a high performing team? Participants are introduced to the nine essential elements* that must be managed to ensure the effective building of teams and sustaining of high performance (up to six of the nine elements will be studied in depth during this workshop). They are given a taste of what it will look like and feel like to achieve high performance, thus setting the scene for the diagnostic and practical sessions that follow.

Managing issues

This session opens by examining how teams respond to their issues, and shows that having an issue is not the problem - the problem arises from how we deal with it.

Team effectiveness diagnostic

The team reviews their diagnostic results to establish the areas for attention and the strengths to hold on to. Practical sessions result in a shared understanding of the major team issues to address, an agreed list for immediate attention, and the areas for particular focus on this event.

Exercise: Lessons from the wild

A thought-provoking session and a change of pace, where subgroups review animal teamwork and leadership evidenced in the African Bush, and draw on lessons for application to their own team working.

Getting started

This section ensures that from day one the newly formed team has a fighting chance of success. This session includes how to welcome new members and getting to know each other. Completion of the 'Team Health Checklist', and of contracts between the relevant parties, results in a full understanding of the requirements and the management of expectations.

Essential element: purpose

Purpose is the first essential element, because lack of purpose hurts performance - big time. The team is tasked to share and agree the team's goals and priorities, disclosing their personal aspirations and working together to create a team brief. Team reviews, assessment and consultant challenges combine with the practical application of this essential element.

Essential element: commitment

Teams without commitment will dissolve when the going gets tough or sacrifices need to be made. The second essential element involves making explicit the level of commitment needed and currently exhibited by the team, and provides tips and tools for harnessing commitment as they move forward.

Issue resolution

The team selects and then works through one of their major team issues or opportunities, putting into practice some of the tools and processes introduced so far. Team and consultant evaluation and feedback expand on the team's own skills of observation and assessment, and identify team progress.

Essential element: trust

What does trust entail, and what impact can it have on team performance?

The team are provoked to move beyond the superficial treatment that trust often receives, to explore what it means in practice, and to gauge the level of trust developed so far on the team. Through exercises and reviews, the team learn how to foster trust between them and to deal with its violation.

Stakeholders - can they smell you coming?

Stakeholders represent a team's greatest opportunity, and also its greatest threat. The team explore tools and techniques for identifying stakeholders, and look at the primary causes for the breakdown of relationships with stakeholders. They then carry out stakeholder analysis, and investigate successful strategies and tactics for stakeholder management.

Essential element: capability

On a high performing team, everyone needs to perform. The team works through a series of capability practices acknowledging what each person brings to the team, and develops strategies for capitalising on team strengths and overcoming gaps.

Conversations that matter

This session is about having the courage and confidence to have real conversations about real issues - to say the tough things that often go unsaid, to have conversations which are open and candid but remain safe to have. Insights, tips and tools are followed by practice sessions involving preparing for and having conversations that matter.

Essential element: accountability

Mutual accountability is at the heart of a team. This session looks at what can get in the way of people feeling accountable and demonstrating accountability, and outlines how to secure accountability from every player involved, including those external to the team.

Essential element: principles

The team work together to select a set of principles - norms and rules governing how they want to operate. No debating by email. A simple, effective and easy to apply principle that can save hours, relationships and yes dollars. There are many more tips where this came from along with advice & guidance on how to set it all up.

A Teamworking Charter and Behaviours' checklist capture the agreements reached.

Where are we now?

The team reflect on the two day journey, what their diagnostic surfaced and how they feel about team and task, thus reinforcing key lessons and ensuing the team check all assumptions.


The number of essential elements covered on these workshops depends on the status of the team and their requirements and issues.

Part 2 then progresses the team through the remaining essential elements for high performance and builds on the tools and skills to become truly high performing.