High Performing Teams & Organizations

High Performing Teams & Organizations

What do teams and organization need to survive in this dynamic and fast moving world? The short answer is they need agility. At first glance, agility appears to be a pure process & method issue. No matter if Scrum, Kanban or OKRs, the first thing that stands out are events, artifacts and roles. But if you focus only on these three elements for your teams or organization, it will fail in most cases and you will remain significantly behind the potential of a truly agile way of working.

In other words, while changes to processes, structures and practices on the path to agility are to be expected, the agile journey needs to focus primarily on the people involved. FOr example, in order to create high performing teams and organizations successfully two essential elements are required: psychological safety and motivation.

Psychological Safety

Organizational behavioral scientist Amy Edmondson of Harvard first introduced the construct of “team psychological safety” and defined it as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” Taking a risk around your team members may sound simple. But asking a basic question like “what’s the goal of this project?” may make you sound like you’re out of the loop. It might feel easier to continue without getting clarification in order to avoid being perceived as ignorant.


For decades we have believed that motivating people is a simple question of incentive. So if we want to see more performance we just have to increase the incentives. We still build bonus and target agreement systems on this assumption today.

And this assumption is correct for most of the tasks from the 20th century. All tasks that do not require creative problem solving can indeed be accelerated by “carrot and stick”.

But if the task requires creativity, reward systems ALWAYS lead to poorer performance. This is one of the most stable facts in the social sciences and the results have been confirmed again and again since 1945.

But how can we help people to become more motivated if extrinsic incentive systems doesnt work? Research showed that intrinisic Motivation emergies when you combine three elements:

  1. Autonomy – people are trusted and encouraged to take ownership of their own work and skill development.
  2. Mastery – people see no limits to their potential and are given the tools they need to continue to improve their skills.
  3. Purpose – people are encouraged to use their skills to achieve a “greater” purpose – for instance, getting involved in a “good cause” that they are passionate about.

Bringing psychological Safety and Motivation together

Moving your Teams and your Organization to high performance means to combine psychological Safety and Motivation

What we offer to support you

Moving to high performance requires a transparent and clear approach to move through the different zones without loosing the focus. Our approach aims to:

  • Clearly identify the status quo of your team or your organization
  • resolving underlying conflicts
  • Identifying the needed steps to move forward
  • Co-Create the path towards high performing teams and organizations
  • Regularly check for the results to adjust the plan