HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 2 - Creating HPTs in a hurry!

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"You can't create a high-performing team in a day, but you can significantly reduce the risk of presiding over a low-performing one!"

In this 11-minute video, the second in the 5-part series, Ken Thompson discusses how to create a team in a hurry using techniques from Game Based Learning. These days teams are often put together in a hurry from a collection of individuals who may barely know each other. A frequent mistake is to just start working as a team on the operational task without taking time to step back and try and set the team up for success.

The irony is that creating a "non-low performing team" can be done very quickly indeed, and any time spent here will repay itself many times over in terms of the team’s effectiveness in working to achieve their organisational goal.

Research shows that if you can put a new or existing team into an engaging activity with a team goal, competition with other teams, medium levels of stress, short deadlines and regular points for team self-reflection you can take them beyond low performance very quickly by cooking their teamwork in a half day pressure cooker approach. 

Watch the other Videos

Video 1 (20:09 mins) HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 1 - Introduction

Video 2 (11:12 mins) HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 2 - Creating HPTs in a hurry!

Video 3 (09:03 mins) HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 3 - The Processes of HPTs

Video 4 (08:32 mins) HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 4 - Change Management for HPTs

Video 5 (08:22 mins) HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS COURSE by Ken Thompson - Topic 5 - HPT Leadership Tips

Further Reading from Ken Thompson on HIGH PERFORMING TEAMS

1. Bioteams: High Performance Teams Based on Nature’s Most Successful Designs

2. The Networked Enterprise: Competing for the Future Through Virtual Enterprise Networks

3. A Systematic Guide to High Performing Teams (HPTs)

4. A Systematic Guide to Collaboration and Competition within organizations

About Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner, author and speaker on collaboration, high performing teams and game-based learning. Ken is Founder of Dashboard Simulations who design, license and facilitate team business simulation games for leadership and management development. Ken has published 4 books on High Performing Teams and Effective Collaboration and tweets at @kenthompson and @dashboardsims.

 Video Transcript 

welcome back to our high-performing

teams video course and today we're going

to address a very practical topic your

cold into your boss's office and he says

can you know that project we've been

waiting to start for months that really

important one it starts tomorrow and

you're the project manager and here's

the guys and gals who are on your team

can you get started immediately so a

wise manager will try and do some work

with the team first to get them in the

ship now let's be honest you cannot

create a high-performing team overnight

from a group of people however you can

identify the stuff that if not addressed

would cause such a team to be low

performing and you can put those

foundations in place very quickly indeed

so let's look at that so what's the

secret of it all how can you get a team

to the common team exceptionally quickly

the secret is what I call team game

based learning letting a team work

together experientially socially in a

game based learning environment my game

based learning has shown to be safe your

your you may well be doing dangerous

things but you're not doing them within

the real project it's experiential

people learn by doing very engaging and

quite well evidenced and this is

described in a bit more detail on my

book on game based learning if you're

interested if you can combine this with

a simulation is even better either a

computer simulation or an on paper

simulation it's better than using a case

study if you can use realistic data

about your own organization that helps

immensely it improves learning but it

does require some degree of experience

facilitation if you can do this with a

whole team you get two other benefits

the benefit of social learning and you

learn about team dynamics in terms of

social learning my colleague Jake Rawls

has identified that as much as 95% of

what we use to do our day-to-day jobs

has not been learned in a formal

training course if

then learned informally by making

mistakes researching things for

ourselves talking to other people and

having a coaching relationship so you

get social learning if you do this

together as a team the other thing you

get is you start to learn about King

dynamics you can see by stressing the

team how the team works as a whole and

also how the different individuals work

and how they rub against each other so

that's what we're going to look at we're

going to look at a quite a simple

process for creating a non

low-performing team literally overnight

the process is four steps to step one

you need about 30 minutes to create what

I call a king being plan step two you

then need to stress a team through some

kind of exercise and I'm going to give

you four different examples of how to do

that depending on how much time you've

got step three at the end of the

exercise you step back and reflect and

you make some adjustments to your team

game plan then step four you start the

project following the game plan and you

regulate or revise it this is all

described in a lot more detail in my

book on high-performing teams so setting

up a king game plan all you have to

remember is the world word cold rapport

and and you need about 30 minutes to do

this and the first thing you need to do

is set up the rules how are you going to

divide up the team's responsibilities

secondly what are the agreements are

sometimes called ground rules or how

people are going to deal with each other

as colleagues and team members you then

need to set up your process and

practices what are the two the three

most important team processes and

practice to put in place for example

somebody who's going to manage the time

somebody who's going to take notes

somebody who's going to analyze research

you then need to establish the

priorities and when you're under

pressure how will you decide what is the

most important if you've got to do a and

B and you

can't do both how will you decide you've

then got to define your organizational

values organizational values are only

real values if you use them when they're

under pressure so the team needs to sit

down and say what are the values which

are most important to us as a team for

example every member voice heard might

be a value but then when you find

yourself under pressure it turns out

only two or three people get their

voices heard so this is when you see

whether you've organizational values or


number six we need to decide what are

the results what are the minimum results

what are the must-haves

we must not perform worse than this and

finally number seven which is your

stretch or your targets what's our

ambition during seed exceed our minimum

performance levels if you go through

these seven steps they old spell rapport

you need about 30 minutes you've got

your first draft of a team game plan so

what happens next well the next stage is

you're going to try and stress test your

team and I'm going to show you four

different ways you can stress test your

team if you've 60 minutes you can run

what I call the team pressure cooker

exercise so an example of this is you

would ask the team if for example the

deadline of this project we're working

on is brought forward by to half the

time of the project what would we have

to change to make that deadline and

everybody writes down what they think

they need to do then another question

would be if failure in this project

became utterly business-critical and put

us out of business

what would we change so you go through

three or four quite structured questions

up when you stress the project on a

number of dimensions then at the end you

go through each of those answers and say

which of those answers can be put in

place now in the normal project and it's

a great way of identifying blind spots

that might be broken in a team if you've

got 90 minutes you can do a back to the

future review and a back to the future

of you as two elements the first element

is you imagine the project has completed

but it has been a terrible failure and

you're all getting together afterwards

to allocate blame and it requires a bit

of imagination but the fundamental

question is what did we do wrong and you

list all those things that you did wrong

the second part of the Back to the

Future review years the team the project

has been an amazing success and you're

getting together to hand out rewards and

credits and bonuses what did we get

right and you list all those things then

when you've got your bad list and your

good list you sit down and say which of

these things do we need to address 9 so

that's a really powerful technique a

back to the future review if you have

120 minutes you can do a team scenario

for example if say you're working in the

cruise industry you might have a little

on paper or on PowerPoint scenario where

you have a knife grip of an epidemic on

the ship and how would you handle it and

after a certain point in time there's

some other new developments for example

some passengers I've got very sick and

there's bad weather forecast and you

can't go to your scheduled board and it

just takes a little bit of work but

people can really engage in this it's a

team scenario either on paper or very

low-tech such as PowerPoint and finally

if you have about 240 minutes and tools

you can do a whole team simulation where

you're running a business together or

you're running a change management

project are you doing some other Joint

Endeavor and if you want to find out

more about these Timbs simulations just

visit wwm Alicia's calm ones are like 25

different simulations that

help you here so now you've stressed

test the team everybody's having fun but

they should be under a bit of pressure

as well it comes to an end and now you

have an opportunity to reflect and

adjust and you can do this most

effectively by just a few

well-considered questions I've got five

questions here you probably don't need

all five so the first question is how

well do we perform as a team in terms of

the goals of the exercise did we do very

well that we meet the goals that we

exceed the goals so do you have a

reality check of what was the actual

outcome nine second ly as a team

what did we do well how do we make sure

we don't carry that we don't lose up so

this is really an appreciative inquiry

here's something we're doing well we

want to do more of it in the future

question three is looking at the

negative other team what do we need to

change what do we need to fix or what do

we need to create so you've been looking

at things so far as a team but then as

individual team members we need to look

at each individual's performance what do

they do well and how do we make sure we

carry that forward and really benefit

from it

and then the other aspect of individual

team members what does each team member

need to do differently and again this

little exercise can easily be done in

about 20 minutes so you've set up your

team you've stressed the team you've

completed the stressing exercise you've

done the reflection what next well

that's easy start the project execute

the project following the revised team

game plan that you have did it after you

stress the team and as you continue the

project just make sure you're reviewing

and improving the lydian plan so there

we are that's how you create a non

low-performing team literally overnight

so in the next video I'm going to start

exploring again the integrated model I

initially introduced for how you create

a high-performing team and in this video

we're going to look in detail at the

processes and practices of

high-performing teams

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A Systematic Guide to Game Based Learning within in OrganizationsTransform Performance Through Experiential Learning, Social Learning and Team Dynamics

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