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The Last Dance: High Performing Teams

Author: Garrick Throckmorton – Chief Product and Services Officer

The Last Dance: The 90s Bulls and High Performing Teams

            Born and raised in Illinois, I was no stranger to the cultural vortex that Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls created in the 1990s. All eyes were on the phenom from North Carolina who took the entire world by storm and became the one the most recognizable faces and names the sports world had ever seen. Even if you are not a sports fan, you knew of Michael Jordan.

            Given the recent black hole that our sporting world has vanished into, ESPN made the probable life-saving decision to move up the launch of a 10-part documentary on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls. It has been an incredible view behind the scenes of one of the highest performing teams in history! It has reminded me of the special outcomes that occur when we design teams with intentionality towards delivering great results.

            High performing teams are what all organizations desire, and as you know, their creation is not simple. What does science tell us about high performing teams? Based upon decades of research and experience, our team has catalogued the key Drivers and Practices of High Performing Teams into a performance library that we call KSAT (Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of Teams). This library, and additional team tools, help our partners to identify the mission critical drivers and practices needed to form your teams and produce results in any environment (onsite, remote, virtual, and more).

            Watching The Last Dance reminds us of the special determination of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990’s and gives us lessons for team success today.

            One thing in particular stands out. The degree of turnover that the team had from one year to the next was remarkable! Each time new players were brought into the team Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan found ways to ensure teams capabilities were maximized. They defined roles and responsibilities clearly, filtered outside noise in ways that fueled success, and valued diversity in a way that ensured they related with individuals differently (i.e. can you say Dennis Rodman).

            You are likely not creating sports teams, but you are desiring for your teams to deliver great results. Our talent tools allow you to engage in card sorting (virtually or face to face) in a way that gives you access to the Drivers and Practices (i.e. the ingredients) of High Performing Teams. By leveraging the KSAT Library you can clearly define which Drivers and Practices are mission critical in your organizational context because every organization is different.

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            And…if interested…watch The Last Dance on ESPN and see what key Drivers and Practices you notice in the incredible 1990s Chicago Bulls!

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