High Performing Teams

Picture of Tom Forrest

Tom Forrest

Senior Consultant

Arcadia recently held the second in our three-part Webinar series on building Purpose & Potential. The topic last week was High Performing Teams (HPT), when Mark Weston and Mark Albas discussed the mindset and behavioural changes needed to drive alignment and high performance within an intact team.

The pandemic has massively affected businesses requiring significant changes to processes, systems and controls. To survive, organisations have had to be agile and pivot to new products and services, bringing in new hires and forming new teams. In a fractured work environment, this has increased the focus on how to align them and encourage the best performance.

The High Performing Teams Model

The HPT model is built on two Fundamental Characteristics – Purpose & Direction and Trust on which we can build the four pillars (Optimising Characteristics) of Communication, Collaboration, Conflict and Accountability. If an organisation sets the foundations in place and builds the optimising Characteristics, then the Results will follow.

Fundamental Characteristics

Purpose & Direction –what sort of team they want to be, what binds them together and what do they stand for.

Trust – this means both trust in each other as individuals and also in the team itself as a whole. Credibility, reliability and intimacy and (lack of) self-interest are all important.

Trust Builders

Credibility means more than having good credentials. Credibility is derived from what you know, and how well you communicate it – to the betterment of the team. 

By contrast, reliability typically has to do with actions. Reliability is grounded in consistency, predictability, and a feeling of familiarity. 

Intimacy refers to the safety that your team feel when entrusting you with something. It also refers to the depth of understanding you have of their motivations, needs, and values.

Self-orientation is most often seen as a significant opportunity for improvement. It is all about focus, more specifically, where your focus is – you or the team? To build trust, your focus needs to be on your team, minimising self-orientation. 

Optimising Characteristics

Communication – everyone has a different style of communicating and different preferences and styles. How you communicate clearly has a massive impact on your ability to build relationships.

Collaboration – here we talk about “Reciprocity Styles”, which includes Givers, Takers and Matchers. Ideally the organisations should move to a culture of giving where individuals put the other person’s needs first.

Conflict – although this characteristic seems counter-intuitive, without healthy conflict and debate a team will not innovate.

Accountability – ultimately this is the goal for every team where every individual in the team takes collective accountability. However, it is important to distinguish between responsibility and accountability.


If teams can unite under a common purpose, and individuals can put self-interest aside then the team can come together to develop the accelerators that achieve results. Ultimately, a sign of success is when daily disciplines are practiced effectively, and where the team take collective ownership for problems and challenges. By using the HPT model you can create a simple and sustainable framework for success, addressing each theme in turn.

If you would be interested in attending future events or would like further information on this topic please get in touch with either Tom at or Vincent at

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