Change Focus: Team Development 

6 Team Conditions

6 Team Conditions for Team Effectiveness is a model that explores the key characteristics of effective teams and codify them in a single model.
The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness Mutomorro
Download a free 6 Team Conditions Template

Background to the 6 Team Conditions for Team Effectiveness

Over the years, researchers and management professionals have been trying to identify the key factors that contribute to the effectiveness of teams in an organisational setting. Martine Haas, a Wharton management professor, and Mark Mortensen, an INSEAD organisational behaviour professor, have conducted extensive research to determine the conditions that make teams successful. Their research has resulted in the development of the 6 Team Conditions framework, which outlines the essential conditions for team effectiveness.

The 6 Team Conditions framework is based on empirical research and real-life examples from various organisations, industries, and geographical locations. The framework aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence team performance and offers practical guidance for team leaders and members to enhance their team’s effectiveness.

The 6 Team Conditions for Team Effectiveness

1. Real Team

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness - 1. Real Team

The first condition for team effectiveness is the formation of a “real team.” A real team is a group of individuals with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and performance goals. They hold each other accountable for achieving these goals and work together to overcome challenges and achieve success.

To create a real team, it is essential to establish clear team boundaries, clarify team members’ roles and responsibilities, and foster a sense of interdependence among team members. By doing so, team members can develop a shared understanding of their collective goals and work collaboratively to achieve them.

2. Compelling Direction

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness - 2. Compelling Direction

A compelling direction is the second condition for team effectiveness. It refers to the clarity and motivation provided by the team’s purpose and goals. A compelling direction provides team members with a clear understanding of what they are working towards, and it inspires them to achieve their objectives.

To establish a compelling direction, team leaders should clearly articulate the team’s purpose and goals, ensuring that they are challenging, consequential, and aligned with the organisation’s overall strategy. Team members should also be involved in the goal-setting process to ensure their buy-in and commitment to the team’s objectives.

3. Enabling Structure

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness 3. Enabling Structures Mutomorro

The third condition for team effectiveness is an enabling structure. An enabling structure is a set of processes, systems, and norms that facilitate collaboration, communication, and decision-making within the team. It helps team members work together efficiently and effectively to achieve their common goals.

To create an enabling structure, team leaders should implement the appropriate processes and systems for task allocation, communication, and decision-making. They should also establish norms that promote trust, openness, and constructive feedback among team members. Additionally, team leaders should ensure that the team’s size and composition are optimised for effective collaboration and performance.

4. Supportive Context

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness - 4. Supportive Context

The fourth condition for team effectiveness is a supportive context. A supportive context refers to the organisational environment and resources that enable the team to perform at its best. This includes access to relevant information, appropriate tools and technologies, and supportive policies and practices.

To create a supportive context, organisations should provide teams with the necessary resources and information to complete their tasks effectively. They should also establish policies and practices that promote collaboration, learning, and innovation within teams. Furthermore, organisations should recognise and reward team performance to motivate team members and reinforce their commitment to achieving team goals.

5. Competent Coaching

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness -5. Competent Coaching

Competent coaching is the fifth condition for team effectiveness. It involves the provision of guidance, feedback, and support to help team members develop their skills and improve their performance. Competent coaches understand the team’s goals, the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, and the dynamics of the team as a whole.

To provide competent coaching, team leaders should develop their coaching skills and adopt a coaching mindset. They should regularly engage in one-on-one and team-wide coaching sessions, providing constructive feedback and support to help team members enhance their performance. Additionally, team leaders should encourage team members to engage in peer coaching and mentoring to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

6. Shared Mindset

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness - 6. Shared Mindset

The sixth and final condition for team effectiveness is a shared mindset. A shared mindset refers to the collective beliefs, values, and assumptions that guide the team’s behaviour and decision-making. It enables team members to work together seamlessly, anticipate each other’s actions, and adapt to changing circumstances.

To foster a shared mindset, team leaders should promote open communication and information sharing among team members. They should also encourage team members to align their individual goals and values with the team’s collective objectives. By doing so, team members can develop a strong sense of shared identity and commitment to the team’s success.

Examples of how to use The 6 Team Conditions for Team Effectiveness

To illustrate the application of the 6 Team Conditions framework in practice, let us consider a few examples:

  • A software development team is struggling with communication and collaboration issues. By implementing an enabling structure that includes regular stand-up meetings, a project management tool, and communication guidelines, the team can improve its collaboration and work more effectively towards its goals.
  • A sales team is experiencing low motivation and poor performance. By establishing a compelling direction that includes challenging sales targets and a clear vision for market expansion, the team leader can inspire team members to strive for excellence and achieve their goals.
  • A product development team is facing challenges in decision-making and problem-solving. By providing competent coaching and fostering a shared mindset, the team leader can help team members develop their skills, collaborate more effectively, and make better decisions.

Summary

The 6 Team Conditions for Team Effectiveness provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and enhancing team performance. By ensuring the presence of a real team, compelling direction, enabling structure, supportive context, competent coaching, and shared mindset, organisations can create the conditions necessary for teams to thrive and achieve their goals.

As a team leader or member, it is essential to assess your team’s current state and identify areas for improvement. By applying the 6 Team Conditions framework, you can take the necessary steps to enhance your team’s effectiveness and drive better results for your organisation.

6 Team Conditions Template

Use this template as a starting point for exploring the 6 Team Conditions Model.

The 6 Conditions for Team Effectiveness

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 James Freeman-Gray 

I'm James. A change consultant and organisational development specialist. I've been working in people-centred change for over 15 years. I partner with causes, champions, teams & leaders on projects for social, environmental, technological & human good. If you think I can support in making your change a success, drop me a message. 

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