Functional Teams are Good; Ultra-Functional even Better

Working with teams of people to accomplish a common business goal can be frustrating and perplexing – with the threat of dysfunction and meltdown ever-present.  And the added complexity of today’s remote, Zoom-centric teams as a result of the pandemic hasn’t made the task any easier.

Yet creating healthy and functional teams is one of the most important responsibilities of leaders, according to business author Shane Snow in a recent Forbes article.  The article summarizes six of the most popular teamwork structures including McKinsey’s “Teamwork at the Top” model and Microsoft’s “The Art of Teamwork” framework and toolset.

But what are the secrets of ultra-functional teams that outperform those that are merely functional?  Like the amplifier knob in the movie Spinal Tap, the author outlines eleven (not just ten…) traits of ultra-functional teams taken from those six structures.

The six traits of functional teams:

  1. Trust
  2. Alignment
  3. Healthy Boundaries
  4. Social Awareness
  5. Empathy
  6. Information Transparency

And the additional five traits of ultra-functional teams:

  1. Purpose
  2. Psychological Safety
  3. Diversity of Thought
  4. Productive Conflict
  5. Intellectual Humility

Want to assess the “health and potential” of a team you’re on?  The author includes a link in the article to a 20-question assessment of your team’s dynamics.