Team Structure May Change, But Behaviors Stay the Same

graphic that says team structure may change but behaviors stay the same

When Deloitte’s 2016 human capital report listed ‘organizational design and the changing dynamics of teams’ as its top trend, let’s just say I was not surprised.

As the designer and trainer of award-winning leadership programs, I have seen this shift myself. There is a clear movement away from the matrices and hierarchies of the 1980s. Today, the challenge facing organizational leaders is how to maintain a competitive team structure amidst constant and ongoing change. For many organizations, the solution is a redesign of cross-functional teams, shifting the org structures from traditional, functional models toward interconnected, flexible teams. Deloitte described it this way – companies are functioning more like movie production teams, with people coming together to tackle projects, and then disbanding to move on to new assignments.

These new nimble, cross-functional team structures may require new training and expertise for individual employees. But while the agility of teams may change, the core behaviors of highly functional and productive teams remain the same. See below for the five basic behaviors that drive all successful teams:

  • TRUST between team members – Productive people thrive on teams that are based on trust. Teams must discover how to view vulnerability as an opportunity for strengthening relationships among their teammates.
  • Healthy CONFLICT resolution – When teams have a foundation of trust, team members feel safe to engage in productive conflict that is focused on concepts and ideas, not biases or personal agendas.
  • COMMITMENT to decisions – Successful teams require clear commitment around decisions and complete buy-in from team members. Teams that achieve commitment use a common language to engage in healthy debate and support decisions even if everyone does not initially agree.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY amongst team members — High-performing teams set high standards for themselves. Holding team members accountable for their responsibilities helps create respect among peers and guides the team to live up to their expectations.
  • Focus on achieving collective RESULTS – The goal of every team is results. By building a foundation of trust, engaging in productive conflict, achieving commitment and holding team members accountable, teams never lose sight of their collective goals and can achieve their peak performance.

These five core behaviors are the basis of the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team©, a proprietary, assessment-based learning experience designed to help your team take advantage of its greatest competitive advantage – teamwork. This program helps individuals and organizations reveal what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team and new team structure in the most approachable, competent and effective way possible. If your organization is ready to get on the same page and produce stellar results, find out how we can help at

No Comments