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The Wisdom of Teams by Douglas K. Smith, Jon R. Katzenbach

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4

High-Performance Teams

Very Useful Models

TEAMS OCCASIONALLY EMERGE that outperform all reasonable expectations as well as all other similarly situated teams. These “high-performance teams” even surprise themselves. The seven men who built Burlington Northern’s intermodal business were such a team. So were the Tallahassee Democrat ELITE and Dallas Mafia teams described in this chapter. All produced exceptional results.

Behind high-performance teams lies a story of commitment. Like any real team, a high-performance team must have a small number of people with the required skills, purpose, goals, approach, and accountability described in our working definition. What sets apart high-performance teams, however, is the degree of commitment, particularly ...

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