Building High-Performing Teams: Strategies for Enhanced Collaboration and Productivity

In the modern workplace, the effectiveness of teams plays a critical role in driving organizational success. High-performing teams not only achieve better results but also foster innovation and adaptability. To cultivate such teams, organizations must focus on enhancing collaboration and productivity. One valuable tool in this endeavor is the Quality of Team assessment, which offers insights into team dynamics and performance.

Understanding the Significance of High-Performing Teams

High-performing teams are characterized by their ability to work cohesively towards common objectives, leveraging the diverse skills and perspectives of their members. These teams are not only more productive but also more innovative and resilient in the face of challenges. Therefore, investing in the development of high-performing teams is essential for organizations aiming to thrive in competitive environments.

Leveraging the Quality of Team Assessment

The Quality of Team assessment provides organizations with valuable insights into the strengths and areas for improvement within their teams. By evaluating factors such as communication, collaboration, leadership, and trust, this assessment offers a comprehensive understanding of team dynamics. Organizations can use the findings from this assessment to identify areas where collaboration and productivity can be enhanced.

Key Strategies for Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity

  1. Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly defined roles and responsibilities help minimize confusion and foster accountability within teams. Organizations can use insights from the assessment to identify any ambiguity in roles and take steps to clarify expectations.
  2. Fostering Open Communication: Effective communication is essential for promoting collaboration. Encouraging open dialogue and providing platforms for transparent communication can help teams share ideas, provide feedback, and address concerns effectively.
  3. Promoting Trust and Psychological Safety: Trust is a foundational element of high-performing teams. Organizations can use assessment insights to identify opportunities for building trust among team members, such as fostering mutual respect, honoring commitments, and encouraging vulnerability.
  4. Encouraging Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Collaboration and knowledge sharing are key drivers of team success. Creating opportunities for cross-functional collaboration and facilitating knowledge exchange can enhance team cohesion and performance.
  5. Providing Growth Opportunities: Investing in the development of team members is crucial for fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Organizations can use assessment findings to identify skill gaps and provide relevant training and development opportunities to support individual and collective growth.


Building high-performing teams requires a strategic approach focused on enhancing collaboration and productivity. By leveraging the insights from a Quality of Team assessment, organizations can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted strategies to cultivate strong team dynamics. By fostering clear communication, trust, collaboration, and growth opportunities, organizations can create environments where teams thrive and drive organizational success.

Why Executive Coaching Should Be Your Company’s Top Priority

If the term “executive coach” immediately causes you to think of “fixing a problem”, we’ve got news for you: today is the day your view is going to change. Why? Because its time that executive coaches move out of the remedial perspective and into the spotlight, alongside key specializations and professional coaches, as the true agents of change and performance that they are. Today is the day you’re going to consider how to best put an executive coach to work for your team.

The Benefits of Executive Coaching

Executive coaching is a key ingredient to creating top performing executive teams and individual professionals. We’re on a mission to educate businesses on how they approach coaching, moving it away from remedial or punitive approaches and into the framework of optimizing human talent and quality of executives in a proactive approach for maximizing results.

If you want your employees to be happier, more engaged at work—and ultimately better functioning individual contributors, managers and teams—executive coaching should be an essential part of your approach to development and management.

Additionally, executive coaching is an investment that pays off. It’s a proactive approach to talent management, and it can help ensure your company has the best people in place for success. 

Executive Coaching Use Cases

If you’re not sure whether this applies to your teams, here are some recent engagements where forward-thinking companies leveraged coaching by Talent Sequencing to improve everything from their org structures and teams to their hiring practices:

  1. Establishing an organization design to determine the best structure between product, marketing and engineering. By aligning these departments in the most functional and effective manner, we reduce friction points and prioritize interconnectivity and productivity. Coaching these teams to successful outcomes directly informs the overall performance of the company on the balance sheet and beyond.
  2. Developing high potential technology executives to support their leadership, management and communication skills to drive improved organizational impact. Have a top individual contributor who is poised to move into a higher level role? If you haven’t considered the additional skills required for success, the critical role of coaching may be overlooked until your high potential are floundering. Approaching this with a proactive view will position these transitions for success.
  3. Improving SLT alignment, communication and performance through coaching and psychometric assessments of a 6 member leadership team.
  4. Developing a high performance hiring model to identify key success ingredients possessed by most successful existing sales team members and create an assessment tool to drive team expansion. Using an psychometrics-power approach, we could model the best potential performers and create hiring metrics around them to propel strategic team growth.

The executive coaching process with the leadership team began by identifying their shared goals and aspirations to identify a common pathway. The combination of qualitative and quantitative data and analysis plays a strategic role in the development of coaching initiatives. Then engaging in an ongoing dialogue can guide transitions essential to performance. By leveraging psychometric assessments to learn about how people think and perceive their roles and companies, we can pinpoint key areas for opportunity, improvement and engagement.

Convinced coaching is key to your company or team’s next stage of development? Our coaches are ready to help your maximize your potential.

The Case for Executive Coaching | Talent Sequencing Vision Series

Coaching. A phrase oft wrought with the distinction of self-improvement and positive enhancement. Considered “mission critical” across the realms of sports, entertainment and the like, it is understood to be a key piece of strategy when discussing performance potential and capability.

Yet, when included in the business context, the idealization surrounding coaching swiftly takes on a darker and more pejorative tone. Insofar as coaching business executives, it is often only seen in a remedial light, as a last ditch effort to course correct problems.

Stigma aside, the executive coaching experts at Talent Sequencing have gone to great lengths to reframe the cornerstone concepts underpinning executive coaching—because rather than “fixing” a presupposed “problem”, our approach towards coaching utilizes it in the same framework that top athletes, entertainers, and others assemble teams of specialized coaches to develop into optimal, high performance versions of themselves.

Through Talent Sequencing’s experience, our perspective is that coaching as a remedial approach is entirely shortsighted.  Why should the default setting in the corporate context be “coaching is only for the damaged or broken”? Why shouldn’t it be along the lines of, “Hey, let’s follow the proven paths with what works in the high performance world of professional sports and entertainment, and bring in coaches to improve upon those who already demonstrate the highest ability, talent, and skills, and—in doing so—perhaps we can help them improve even further.” This is akin to the Marcus Buckingham mantra, “focus on improving your strengths,” vs. remediating your weaknesses (  

A typical professional sports team averages more coaches than players on the field. There are head coaches, strength coaches, psychological coaches, conditioning coaches, and strategy coaches. Often there is a ratio of 3 or 4 coaches to every 1 athlete when you take into consideration all the experts brought in to work on performance. An Olympic athlete has an arsenal of coaches on which they can draw.

In our approach at Talent Sequencing, we believe “let’s breed more Olympic corporate athletes & teams” is the right way to handle executive coaching. Can you imagine what would happen to business growth and productivity if we focused on energy on making the top performers and top potential—even better?  Eric Schmidt, the vaunted former Google CEO and now Chair, confessed the value of coaching for him and his Google mandate with great candor in this video interview:

In our next post, we will discuss the key arguments for executive coaching at this level. We encourage you to share your thoughts with us as well.

Surprising Improvement in Culture Health with This Heat Map

How can you tell if your company’s culture is healthy? It might be hard to answer that question, but there is one thing that you should know for sure: it’s not enough to simply ask the employees–especially not in the age of distributed, remote workforces. That’s why we created the Distributed Culture Heatmap – a survey tool that creates a heat map of potential problem areas across distributed cultures in order to help leadership and coaching course correct and strengthen where necessary.

In many situations, companies are flying blind when they try to assess and analyze their company cultures. Surveys? OK, but how? Feedback loops? Sure, but are they being honest? Sprinkle in surprise departures by key employees or an overwhelmed HR department in the new virtual environment, and you’re on the precipice of company culture disaster in the virtual world.

What’s the solution to our “new normal” workplace concerns? Distributed culture monitoring. The idea is to create a heat map of potential problem areas, using respondents from all over the company (and even outside it), in order to help leadership and coaching course correct and strengthen where necessary.

The company culture monitoring survey tool we’re discussing here, DCH, creates a heat map for potential problem areas which can then be analyzed by leadership, and leveraged to find opportunities to infuse coaches, development, and support where needed.

So what happens when your heatmap spots problem areas? What are some culture problems that may be creeping up?

  • Is your company’s culture is too lax?
  • Do you have a high turnover rate, especially in key positions?
  • Are people not working as hard or are they overworked
  • Do employees feel connected and engaged with their counterparts?

DCH can help by providing leadership with the data to address and eliminate these problems. This will lead to far-reaching, long term improvements from improving client retention to expanding operations and teams. It will also help support future remote and distributed culture plans so you can offer your teams the flexibility they desire without compromising your company’s efficiency.

Top Coaching Recommendations for Executives | Talent Sequencing Vision Series

  • When Individual Executive Coaching Should Be Considered
    • While onboarding a new executive hire into a new organization
    • When existing high performance executives are looking to move to the next level of learning & performance
    • When existing executives are require new skills as the company moves from one stage of growth to another
  • Individual executive coaching has 4 popular common coaching focuses. Coaching executives in relation to:
    • Themselves.
    • Their superior(s)
    • Peer(s)
    • Subordinates
  • Some great self-help management coaching publications for managers and leaders. All below address how a manager or leader can improve their effectiveness and supercharge positive impact on co-workers, regardless of direction of focus:
  • Executive team coaching is different—there are unique requirements vis-a-vis individual executive coaching
    • Team coaching carries with it the intrinsic goal of making the “whole greater than the sum of its parts.”
    • Team coaching fuses together collective objectives instead of individual ones, with the primary focus on business unit or company goals.
    • Research such as “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” are the basis for this sort of team coaching (links in bibliography below)
  • Key considerations for individual executive coaching prospects include:
    • Most importantly, willingness to accept coaching—often referred to as the “attitude” variable. 
    • If a candidate has very low EI/EQ (emotional intelligence), it is probably they’ll hit a ceiling before intended performance goals are achieved.
    • Ability to commit time. Coaching time requires prioritization rather than risking subordination to other urgent business priorities, otherwise progress is unlikely to be made.
  • What kind of time commitment is required?
    • For individuals, there is often a minimum monthly or weekly commitment depending upon goals.
    • For teams this can evolve differently, with an intense kick-off or multi-day retreat for the parties involved and then with a recurring cadence of team and individual meetings over many months.
  • There are coaching “tools” that can help map areas of existing strength and future growth. From personality profiling at the lightest level (think DISC or Myers-Briggs MBTI), to more expansive profiling tools such as Gallup’s StrengthsFinder or Hogan psychometric instruments.
  • There are coaching certifications, such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation), which is the recognized standards body and certification entity. More at However, many coaches, both team coaches and individual executive coaches, may have a PhD in clinical psychology in addition to or instead of an ICF certification.
  • Selecting a coach who is most likely to be a strong fit takes many things into consideration. Like hiring any other professional advisor, it is important to explore several candidates to get a better understanding of what feels like a good fit. Key indicators include:
    • Trust—Can you establish a nonjudgmental, trust-driven relationship with the coach?
    • Vulnerability—Can you be vulnerable with the coach, or will you feel like you always have to put forth your “best side”?
    • Location—If it is important to the executive to have in person/face to face meetings, establish whether coaching sessions will all be in person, hybrid of in person and phone/video, or via virtual means only. Keep in mind that many platforms have switched their standard course given the pandemic, but there really is no “right answer” to this question.  However, keep in mind that coaches will typically travel to “players.”  Therefore, it is not necessary or advisable to prioritize those who are local.  Find the best coach first, and then figure out the logistics of meeting cadence and virtual/in-person later.
  • Some content & reading resources may be valuable to you while you’re exploring coaching. Consider reviewing the following:

ELIMINATE FIRST DATE BEHAVIORS | 2021 Talent Sequencing Success Series

FACT #5: Interviewing & assessing executive candidates in 2020 got a whole lot more difficult when forced to do so remotely  
For many, it felt like 2 out of 3 legs of the interviewing stool got cut off, leaving the interviewer precariously teetering on one spindle, off balance and unable to trust what they were seeing through a video camera on the other side of the now virtual interview table. How is the interviewer to get beyond “first date best behavior” and more clearly see how a candidate might behave a week, month or even a year into their new role? As if it isn’t hard enough to assess for this in the physical , companies and hiring authorities in 2020 were forced to do virtually all of their interviewing by video, replacing physical with digital, replacing 3 dimensions with 1. And—since our 5 senses were now reduced to 2— the question arose around how to bridge over that loss, and if/what tools could be used to replace

Resolution #5: Find, test & deploy a psychometric assessment instrument to help identify personality “derailers” that may exist within a candidate’s behavioral profile. 

What is a psychometric assessment? 

Based on the “5 Factor Model” and accompanying body of more than 50 years of data & research, Talent Sequencing’s Team Fit Analysis— — is the best tool we’ve been able to create, and is also administered & interpreted by a credentialed PhD psychologist to ensure executive candidates aren’t trying to “game the system.” For more on the history and development of the Big 5, see (

Interested in testing a 5 Factor Model? Test drive the Little Big 5 at Talent Sequencing at no cost.

FOLLOW THE RESEARCH | 2021 Talent Sequencing Success Series

For our latest, we’re letting the experts at Vistage handle the 4th resolution as presented by their Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin and simply recommending that you “follow the research”.

FACT #4: Hiring and Recruiting will be the #1 decision the C-Suite will have to face in 2021  
According to the Vistage Organization and its Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin, hiring, recruitment and sourcing is the most important challenge facing executives in 2021. 

Resolution #4: Prioritize your talent strategy for 2021. A well-crafted strategy will tackle the challenges of virtual recruiting, selection and onboarding, incorporate a comprehensive assessment for skills as well as culture fit, and a keen understanding of which are the right people for the right seats. Finally quantitative and qualitative data points will help keep your hiring success on track if you acknowledge the critical importance recruitment will have on 2021.

DIGITIZE ONBOARD MONITORING | 2021 Talent Sequencing Success Series

FACT #3: Onboarding new talent in 2021 just got a whole lot harder.  
In May of 2020, Harvard Business Review felt it important enough to feature this important issue in that month’s issue,
Not far behind, Forbes picked up the thread in August,

Resolution #3: Deploy a digital onboarding monitoring progress tool like the Executive Integration Assessment to gather monthly input from key stakeholders around the executive new-hire. The goal? To facilitate discussion and direct any course corrections to improve speed and success of executive transplant. For more, go to

MEASURE COMPANY CULTURE | 2021 Talent Sequencing Success Series

FACT #2:
Company cultures during Covid-19 in 2020 was a “tale of 2 cities”—some companies actually IMPROVED their cultures across the pandemic. Yet others saw massive deterioration (see article and analytics of 1.4 million employees and their sentiments around their company’s cultures by MIT Sloan Review published in October 2020, ). The difference between companies who were perceived to have improved their cultures vs. those who didn’t?  

During times of crisis the quality of communication is central to how employees evaluate corporate culture. The other big factor behind company cultural erosion during Covid? 

“Employees Give Companies Low Marks for Agility During COVID-19” as defined by 12 depressions from down 7% to down almost 40% in areas including slowness of speed in responding to changes, lack of strategic consistency & level of bureaucracy. 

Resolution #2: As the management adage goes, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Start MEASURING your own company’s culture. Light, quick, and frequent culture health monitoring pulses can make the difference between being in the “good city,” or the “bad”. For more on Talent Sequencing’s tool for culture pulsing, learn about the Distributed Culture Heatmap,

ENGAGE EXECUTIVE PERFORMANCE | 2021 Talent Sequencing Success Series

FACT #1:
Going into the 2018 season, the average number of coaches on an NFL team staff is 22.3. Five years ago, the average was 21.5 – a subtle difference, but the trend is clear: In 2013, two teams had as many as 24 coaches on staff. In 2018, 11 teams had at least 24 coaches, including five that have more than 24. If coaching is proactive in athletics, consider its role in other industries.

So why do most companies treat coaching as a “last resort” for the troubled executive who is underperforming and is on the path to perdition and ultimate termination? Meanwhile, relatively few engage coaches to propel top talent further in their expertise and performance.

Resolution #1: Engage executive performance coaching for high potential talent to fuel company performance.