A high performing team is a group of people who share a common vision, goals, metrics and who collaborate, challenge, and hold each other accountable to achieve outstanding results. While most people would generally agree with this definition, the Achilles heel in practice is in isolating and over-emphasizing the last part: achieve outstanding results. If we only focus on results and not on how we achieve those results, our efforts might work for now but will not be sustainable.
The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence is awarded by the Shingo Institute, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Recipients must meet stringent criteria defined by the Institute that only the very highest performing teams can achieve: “attaining ideal results with ideal behaviours”. Shingo’s emphasis on how an organization goes about meeting its objectives is such that only 20% of the scoring criteria is on actual results; the remaining 80% is on defined behaviours related to Cultural Enablers (e.g., Respect for all People; Leading with Humility), Continuous Improvement (e.g., Focus on Process; Flow and Pull Value); and Enterprise Alignment (e.g., Create Constancy of Purpose; Think Systematically). More information on the Shingo Model is available at https://shingo.org/model/.
In 2019, only four companies received the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence; in 2018, there were three recipients. So clearly, very few of us are anywhere near the level of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. But we still learn from this framework and apply it in our own pursuit of high performance.
The High-Performance Team Model we use is inspired by the Shingo model. It is behavioural-based and consists of three dimensions:
While less complex than the Shingo Model, we believe it reflects many of its attributes while at the same time offering a manageable day-to-day approach for teams and organizations of all types and sizes to evaluate their current level of performance and develop and implement plans to improve.