Why every organisation needs a high performance management team

A common question I come across when working with CEOs and Managing Directors is how they can achieve a management team that is up to the the strategic and operational needs of the company. Unfortunately, many top leaders of organizations feel some level of isolation when it comes to their management team and how coherently they are are able to work together. 

The management team is a concept now entrenched in northern European and North American corporate culture. In southern Europe and Latin American countries however, the idea of a cohesive team is not yet widespread. The predominant management style in Latin countries is several years behind their northern neighbours. It is more personalistic and less democratic and often does not favour the nurturing of management talent.

Yet, the aspiration of almost all organization leaders, regardless of where they are in the world, is usually the same. It is to have a management team that shares the strategic vision of the company and implements it, that works as a team instead of squabbling and finger-pointing, that takes responsibility for its results and that follows up the evolution of its key performance indicators.

To achieve a management team that really works together, the organisation first needs to stop and take a long look at the team’s current situation. The evaluation must be of both the individuals and the team itself, not only to identify weaknesses and problems, but above all to build awareness of the team’s new role in the organization and the implications for all its members.

The evaluation will identify any inconsistencies or contradictions regarding the strategic vision, as well as individuals’ shortcomings in terms of their management style and the necessary skills they need. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the day-to-day interactions between the team members and observation of meetings and how issues are dealt with will give a clear picture of the level of teamwork.
Once the current situation has been defined and the needs outlined, there are several ways to begin building a high performance management team. Tools that should be used include:
- Individual and group coaching (at board meetings and specific workshops)
- Strategic workshops with key indicators and accountability
- Team-building and cooperation workshops (outdoors)
- Management skills and cooperative negotiation training
Not only will each individual improve and develop their own management style, but the management team will be involved in common learning and sharing experiences that will facilitate subsequent performance as a team.
The result will be a strategically aligned management team that works together with empathy and with everyone is committed to the overall performance. In short, the organization performance will be favoured by a management team that is looking to improve performance in an organic and effective way.
The ROI of a programme of this nature is invariably high given the decisive influence on corporate results. And just as important is the consolidation of a continuous improvement environment that will foster better performance in the long term.

To transform a management team into a high-performance one should not take more than three months of intense work for everyone. But once done the benefits remain for a long time.

There is never a convenient time to embark on a programme of this type as everyone is always busy with other priorities. Yet it is always the right time, because no company can afford not to prioritise the core of its company. A high performance management team brings profitability, effectiveness and efficiency to the organization. 

Any company that aspires to be world class, regardless of the size or structure, needs a high performance management team.