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High Performance Team Books

Unless you are armed with enough of the right knowledge and information, building High Performance Teams can be a tricky business. This reading list will give you the rest of the information you will need to optimize teams at every level in the organization. Together this collection will insure that you avoid the usual traps and pitfalls, provide clarity of team purpose, foster the right environment for teams to properly develop, and reach outstanding levels of team accomplishments and results. I've provided the reasons each is on my "must read" list. Click on the Amazon link to the left to learn more about a given book, or to make a purchase. Donald J. Bodwell

Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R.
Build and Manage High Performance Teams: The How to Guide 2011

In The Hedgehog Effect, Manfred Kets de Vries presents the case for leadership group coaching as an experiential training ground for learning to function as a high performance team. His group coaching model, incorporating living case studies, has been developed over more than 20 years of delivering programs to top-level executives and sets the standard in the field of leadership group coaching. Written for coaches, consultants, leadership development directors, and anyone working in or with teams, The Hedgehog Effect begins with an in-depth analysis of what teams and groups are all about. The intricacies of leadership coaching are illustrated with an elaborate example of a team coaching intervention.

In Part Two, the author applies a psychodynamic lens to the dynamics of teams and groups, taking a close look at relationship patterns, how groups evolve, and the phenomenon of the group-as-a-whole. Part Three takes a more systemic perspective, addressing the challenges that change processes pose for people in organizations, and how to create best places to work. Kets de Vries supports the whole with the story of an organizational change initiative accomplished through group coaching.
Build and Manage High Performance Teams: The How-to Guide [Kindle Edition] 2011

With this book, you'll learn all the key strategies for managing an effective team, from assembly to overseeing operations. First you'll learn the characteristics of an effective team and who should be included. Then you'll learn how to structure your team, manage participation, assess influences, and serve as team leader. You'll explore ways to manage conflict in the workplace, appraise your teamÕs performance, and give constructive feedback. Tips throughout - including case studies and useful facts - provide extra dimension to each chapter.
Hanlan, Marc,
High Performance Teams: How to Make Them Work 2004

A popular maxim states that the only constant in business today is change. Whether the result of growth opportunities, new competition, technological advances or other internal and external factors, every business enterprise must manage change. Since the 1980s, companies have experimented with a method for driving change-High Performance Teams (HPTs), work teams that achieve a quantum leap in results in less than a year. Drawing from over 25 years of experience with HPTs, Marc Hanlan traces their history in a wide variety of industries, analyzes the key factors that contribute to success-or failure-and offers a comprehensive guide to building and managing them successfully.

Featuring dozens of case examples and a detailed template for translating plans into action, High Performance Teams shows you how to: prepare the organization, select team leaders and members, set goals, accelerate development times, overcome obstacles, and measure results. Including an extensive bibliography and glossary of key terms and concepts, High Performance Teams will become an indispensable resource for business executives and owners, team leaders and members, and facilitators, trainers, consultants, and coaches. For shareholders, customers, and students of organizational behavior, High Performance Teams offers unique insight into the dynamics of breakthrough business performance.
Kruse, Kevin Employee Engagement 2.0, How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance (A Real-World Guide for Busy Managers) 2012.

A good read. What managers and supervisiors who want to learn how to engage individiual team members need to know. Good psychology and tactics provide another great insight on what it takes to build a successful team.

Massey, Tom, The Ten Commandments for Building High Performance Teams 2010.

The ten commitments outlined in Dr. Massey's new book will help you get the right people in the right positions to develop a focused, values-driven, high performance team. Learn how to get every member to take personal ownership of your team's success by creating shared purpose, values, and strategic goals. Gain insights on setting up profit sharing, establishing work standards, and correcting performance problems, in addition to creating a learning organization that is able to adapt to the challenges of the next century. Build a team environment where people have fun and play to win. Increase employee retention, job satisfaction, commitment, and productivity that will propel your team to a championship performance.The empowering topics covered include: committing to getting the right people "on the bus;" getting everyone "on the same page;" creating a learning environment; sharing the profits and losses; turning around poor performance; dancing with your team members; playing to win; growing through adversity; having fun; and, most importantly, playing large.

Katzenbach, Jon R., and Smith, Douglas K., The Wisdom of Teams , Harvard Business School Press, 1993. (My summary of the book) .

A great book on team building by a couple of folks who have been in the trenches. The book explores the range of teams from working group to High Performance Team. Dated, but still 98 percent valid. After all how quickly does human nature change?

Katzenbach, Jon R., and Smith, Douglas K.Teams at the Top Harvard Business Press, 1997.

From my personal experience, building teams at the top is the most challenging assignment. It's simple human nature to want to compete for better positions. Competitive zeal is always strongest near the top of the organization. Katzenback and Smith take on these issues and provide a hopeful path to sucess.

Kelly, Kevin.Out of Control Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1994

What has this one got to do with high performance teams? Quite a bit if you think about the rules nature imposes. I found many of his insights particularly useful: how swarming bees communicate about where to place the hive; almost all innovation in nature occurs at the margins e.g. forest and plain; and the impecible "9 Laws of God": Distribute being; Control from the bottom up; Cultivate increasing returns; Grow by chunking; Maximize the fringes; Honor your errors; Pursue no optima; seek persistent disequilibium; and Change changes itself. Very deep thoughts herein!

Lencioni, Patrick M.The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Jossey-Bass, 2002.

Two years plus on the Best Sellers list makes this a must read. Lencioni's "five dysfunctions" include: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. I've spent most of my career trying to ignore dysfunctional team behavior by leading them away from the dark side to the light of High Performance. I wish this book had been published years ago. There's even a questionnaire at the back to help you assess your own team's shortcomings.

McAdams, Jerry.The Reward Plan Advantage: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996.

No one does anything on this earth without a motivation to do so. Teams need to be motivated as well. If you are not going to use the stick...and that would be my recommendation...then use the carrot. McAdams explores the ways teams can be incented to achieve extraordinary obectives. Some are rather unique and tantalizing. To beak top management's mental models about recognition and reward, you need some new approaches. McAdams provides these for you.

Phillips, Jack J. and Jones, Steven D. In Action: Developing High Performance Work Teams American Society for Training and Development, 1998.

14 case studies of teams that have become, or are becoming, high performance teams. Get inside the teams and see for yourself the critical factors that determine team success. Several cases from manufacturing for those who are interested in creating industrial work teams.

Shaw, Robert Bruce. Trust in the Balance Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997.

With "trust" all things are possible. Without it...nothing of value is. Shaw looks at examples from Hewlett-Packard, AlliedSignal, Motorola, GE and others as he explores and defines the factors that promote trust or distrust and how organizations can regain trust once it's lost.

Johansen, Robert, et. alia.Leading Business Teams Addison Wesley, 1991

Communication between team members is a critical factor for team success. Johansen looks at groupware as an enabler. While rapid improvements in technolgy somewhat date the technology discussed in this book, the principles espoused make it a productive read.

Streibel, Barbara J, et. alia.The Team Handbook Third Edition Oriel, Inc 2003.

From improving productivity and quality to six sigma, The Team Handbook covers everything a team will need to know. The Third Edition even has links where you can download the forms and tools described inthe book. Doesn't get much clearer than this!

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