Leading Edge: Strategies for developing and sustaining high-performing teams - Business Leader News

Leading Edge: Strategies for developing and sustaining high-performing teams

“Alison Grieve and Jenni Miller distil their decades of management experience into actionable, pragmatic advice to inspire high performance. This is a book to give as a gift, discuss with others, and refer to again and again.” – Carol Van Den Hende, Author of the Goodbye, Orchid series, and Corporate Executive

High-performing teams provide the golden ticket for companies looking for a competitive edge. But many leaders think the solution to enhancing collaboration and performance lies in traditional methods of returning to the office or installing forced after-work fun – instead of in new ways of thinking about engagement and inclusion and recalibrating teams to thrive in the flexible, digital workplace.

Leading Edge reveals how managers and their teams can deliver exceptional results and sustainable success through a mindset and cultural shift towards Team-Led leadership, with simple improvements to five key areas: Reason, Results, Routines, Relationships and Resilience – known as the ‘Edge Dynamic’.

Co-authors Alison Grieve and Jenni Miller are highly sought-after leadership and team development coaches with extensive experience helping global corporations like Pepsico and Pandora to transform their team performance and deliver consistent, sustainable results.

Here is an excerpt from Leading Edge: Strategies for developing and sustaining high-performing teams by Jenni Miller and Alison Grieve.


In over 25 years of working with teams, we have noticed that the rate of change and the complexity that teams are operating in has increased dramatically. Teams have always been important to organisations but the requirement for enhanced collaboration and collective problem solving has never been greater. The challenges we all face have become – and will continue to be – so complex that without excellent teamwork, organisations will fail to thrive and make the most of potential opportunities. Whether this is coming up with new routes to market, innovative products, overcoming supply chain issues, retaining people, or sustaining growth during challenging times, teams are at the heart of the solution.

High-performing teams deliver at least three things to the organisation – greater innovation, complex problem solving and superior decision making:

    1) Greater innovation

    Innovation is rarely achieved successfully by one person alone and it requires a team to make an idea reality. Teams take an idea, make it even better and create a plan together to turn it into something tangible, with organisational benefits. It’s about experimenting, taking risks, learning from mistakes and failures and embracing a mindset of possibility. Alone, one person can demonstrate some of these traits but are unlikely to be able to sustain it over time or realise the value to the business. One person might have a great idea but taking that idea from concept to reality requires teamwork; they can rarely (if ever) do it alone. A high-performing team creates a playground for ideas – a space in which experimentation is embraced and risks are taken.

    2) Complex problem solving

    One person can easily solve a simple problem by themselves. Complex problems, however, require different methods of approaching the problem. High-performing teams thrive on solving complex problems and utilise the strengths of the team to achieve a better solution. They use the diversity of perspectives in the team as well as the mental capacity of the whole team to approach a problem from a different angle.

    3) Superior decision making

    High quality, timely decision making is essential in organisations – if decisions are made too late or if they are not made well, organisations fail. Often, we see teams who struggle to make decisions, have repeated conversations and don’t move forward. Or we see leaders who are bottlenecks for decisions because their team defer all decision making to them. We also see teams who make decisions at the wrong level in the organisation – leaders are focused on the tactical at the expense of the strategic and disempower the people they lead. High-performing teams consistently make great decisions and they do this through trust, collaboration, and constructive challenge. They also make the right decisions quickly and efficiently. They ensure that decisions are high quality by considering diverse opinions. This is a fundamental building block of the competitive edge a high-performing team can deliver.

    Any team can be a good team with a little bit of luck, a good leader and positive intentions from team members. However, it’s impossible to be a high-performing team and sustain it indefinitely without putting effort into your team. A high-performing team is created by design and continuous focus on the dynamics in the team – what we call their “Edge Dynamics” of Reason (their why), Results (what they are accountable for delivering), Routines (their ways of working), Relationships (their interactions with each other) and Resilience (their energy levels).

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