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Helping Teams Become "Great" with DeepDive

Accelerating the ability of teams to perform

Teams are often crucial to a company’s achieving desired business results. Whether designing new products, planning entry into a new market, responding to the competition, or even developing people to their highest potential, management’s work today is reaching new levels of complexity. We believe that challenges such as these can be met only by leveraging the intellect, energy, and creativity of many people with varying perspectives -- in other words, by using teams. In fact, these challenges mean that teams are the primary unit of performance for an increasing number of organizations.¹

Unfortunately, all teams are not created equal, and not all are effective — resulting in lost opportunities and, very likely, a significant bottom-line impact. Frustration with team performance has driven many companies to “quick fix” solutions — bringing in consultants, training people in facilitation and meeting management skills, and making improvements in facilities and technology. Despite these solutions, and despite the potential for significant payback (for high-performing teams should produce far better results than “average” ones), truly high-performing teams are rare.²

While “quick-fix” solutions can have their place, they fundamentally address “hygiene” factors rather than the essence of great teamwork. Giving a team the latest technology, an agenda, a facilitator, a timekeeper, a leader and a sense of mutual respect does not necessarily mean that they will achieve the desired results. Most of these techniques and products can help a team get off the ground, and might be able to transform “bad” teamwork into “good.” But what about taking these “good” results further — to make them “GREAT”?

Great results are about synergy and creativity with an eye to achieving workable solutions—tapping the skills, knowledge, and experience of the team and assembling these elements into new and unique solutions. The DeepDiveTM is a way to help turbo charge a team — helping it be effective immediately and giving it an excellent chance of achieving the desired results.

It’s not enough, of course, for a single team to achieve results. The DeepDiveTM, as a methodology and discipline, can help a company to improve the performance of teams across the company. In our experience, knowledge-based industries are at the early stages of a revolution that can radically improve the returns of team-based work, the same way that the industrial revolution and mass production significantly increased the returns from manufacturing. The DeepDiveTM technique is an early example of this trend.

¹ Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, The Wisdom of Teams, McGraw-Hill 1993, p. 5.
² Id, pp. 65-67.

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