Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
“High Five! The Magic of Working Together” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles offers four keys to developing a highly effective team. The authors use a parable story telling technique about a youth recreation hockey league, the Warriors, to demonstrate how implementing the four concepts can turn around a team to success. They parallel the process to show how the same techniques can be used in the business world. The title “High Five” is used to express the practice of “high fiving”, the slapping of hands in the air by teammates, to demonstrate the togetherness of a group of people coming together with passion and excitement. The high emotions of a high five slap occur when a high functioning team has finally been formulated.
The four elements of a highly functioning team are: providing a clear sense of purpose and shared values, developing and unleashing skills, creating team power by creating the synergy of combining talents and keeping the accent on the positive by repeated reward and recognition.
1. Providing a clear sense of purpose and shared values
Providing a clear purpose and shared values means the team agrees on a common goal. This is a very common first step in any organization’s development. The team must have a shared vision, mission and values before embarking on any business strategy. I think the vision and mission establish the purpose which is the most important element of the process. Employees must truly feel the value in what they are doing and have a purpose to get up every day and come to work. Shared value is also a key to recruiting and retaining good team members. Employees must have the same intrinsic values as the organization. I have practiced the philosophy of first establishing a purpose and values through the strategic planning processes at my organizations so I whole heartedly agree in this as a first step. The team has to...