The Promise of a High-Impact Team That Won’t Let Each Other Fail
Ten years of research by the Ferrazzi Greenlight Research Institute, including hands-on relational science experience in client settings, has uncovered a common set of characteristics among the highest-performing executive teams. They have a team-first mindset, practice safe candor, work in service of one another to cut across silos, and have a relentless focus on results and “winning.”
The promise these elite teams uphold is that when one individual fails, the entire team fails, which means goal alignment and mutual support is paramount.
What Is Different About High-Impact Teams?
Great teams do not use a hub-and-spoke system of engagement from each member to the leader. Instead, the team takes responsibility for every member’s success. Our HIT program unleashes that level of accountability through intensive, peer-to-peer coaching within the team.
Many companies facilitate off-sites and coach individuals, but Ferrazzi Greenlight has pioneered the use of the staff meeting as its inoculation point for team coaching. It works like a scrimmage for the real game of winning in the market for all key stakeholders. Moreover, the measurable high-return practices we introduce for engagement in the executive staff meeting cascade out and become part of the team’s normal work habits.
Ferrazzi Greenlight has a particular magic that our clients experience repeatedly throughout sessions—it happens in the powerful moments when a team or an individual opens up in a way that is truly surprising. We even have a research-based metric for it called porosity, which measures an individual’s openness to change. As part of our measurement of success, we conduct surveys, pre-program and post-program, that reveal how much more “porous” your team members are—in other words, how successfully our high-return practices have created greater openness in their way of being.
Our Focus as HIT Coaches
Knowing a single offsite or training will not change ingrained habits, we architected our HIT practice to drive the adoption of the highest- return behaviors within leadership teams while ensuring a laser focus on results. The result is a 7-session, sprint-structured intervention, focused on specific behaviors related to 1) collaboration in a real business context, 2) mutual commitment and support, 3) conflict avoidance, and 4) peer-to-peer accountability—which ensures an “I won’t let you fail” attitude is embodied by all team members. Each session is like a practice for sports teams where team members try out new behaviors in a safe environment and gain real-time feedback from the coach and their peers. In addition, we integrate concepts from Agile, such as between-session sprints, to advance actual business goals, always pushing for the highest levels of accountability, both to the executive leader and among team members.
What HIT Can Achieve
Ferrazzi Greenlight’s High-Impact Teams program helps teams and organizations achieve:
Adoption and sustainment of new behaviors
Increased engagement of team and the broader organization
An engineered culture focused on the highest-return practices
Quicker decision-making and more lasting decisions
Inclusive decision-making that ensures a diversity of voices are heard
Actual exponential change—not just rhetoric and plans
Specific Promises of Our HIT Program
Candor: Overcoming conflict avoidance to speak the truth in service of growth for both the business (refinement) and the people (feedback).
All team members risk sharing openly with each other because there is a sense of psychological safety within the team.
All team members are willing to give input to each other in service of the business even when the topic is outside their area of expertise or span of control.
All team members speak their minds during meetings because backchannel conversations and gossip are not tolerated.
All team members are committed to elevating each other by offering feedback on business practices and performance as well as on each other’s professional capabilities.
Collaboration and Inclusion: Unleashing the team’s ability to work together and innovate.
All team members welcome the collaborative engagement of others in helping solve their business challenges.
The team uses its time together to collaboratively engage on the most important business issues instead of spending it on individual report outs.
All members of this team respect and value what every other member of this team contributes.
Personal Growth: Committing to a personal learning journey and being humble about what I get to do better.
All team members of the team are open about their areas for growth and constantly seek to develop themselves both personally and professionally.
All team members devote time inside and outside of meetings to ongoing personal and professional development.
All team members are grateful to be a part of the team because every member cares about and takes a stand for everyone else’s personal and professional success.
360° Accountability for Results: Holding my teammates and myself accountable for our commitments and results.
All team members hold each other and themselves accountable for shared goals and take personal ownership of each other’s individual goals.
The team is accountable to shareholders for shared business results no matter what.
All team members recognize that if one fails everyone fails, and they act accordingly.
The team is achieving its full potential.
Agility: Demonstrating the ability to iterate and change course as needed to ensure results.
The team is Agile and capable of exponential change.
The team takes an iterative approach to initiatives, which allows it to quickly course correct before key deadlines are missed.
The team is risk-taking and capable of rapid decision-making.
All team members are committed to living the HIT practices and cascading them to the rest of the organization.
Lifeline Relationships: Creating committed relationships by leading with generosity, being vulnerable, taking time to know (and like) each other, and developing psychological safety.
All team members lead with generosity and proactively look for opportunities to be of service in advancing one another’s agendas.
All team members have established caring, trusting, and supportive relationships with all other members of the team.
While each member of the team is responsible for people who report to them, their primary loyalty and commitment is to the shared success of the leadership team.
All members truly enjoy being part of the team.
Details on the High-Impact Team Process
Seven Sessions in Seven Months
Our High-Impact Teams process is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a seven-month group coaching methodology putting behavioral science research into action. The HIT program consists of 7 full-day sessions, each preceded by a relational dinner, in addition to one- on-one coaching between sessions. To ensure deep accountability and a focus on results, sprints between sessions are aimed at tangible business outcomes.
Highly Experiential & Sustainable
Our consultant-coaches take your staff meetings and transform them into a behavior-change scrimmage for the team and an accelerator of strategic objectives and results. We dissect behavioral blockers as they appear, purge bad habits, and instill and practice new behaviors and rituals. Then we put to use the new, better habits over the course of seven monthly sessions, focusing on the most critical business topics along the way. For the fifth session, we turn over the facilitation over to you, the client, to lead a HIT session on their own. After that session, we debrief with the client facilitator and provide coaching focused on the tone of the session as well as the facilitation of the specific HIT exercises. Ferrazzi Greenlight then leads the final two sessions, which serve as models to the client team about facilitating future sessions.
Real Collaborative Business Success Is Achieved
The core of each session is a series of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) exercises aimed at key business topics. Each topic, which will include pre-work sent out prior to the session, enables team members to spar on the team’s strategic objectives and challenges in a constructive manner, while bringing an inclusive set of perspectives into the room. CPS also provides a safe forum to practice the
HIT behaviors, such as candor and accountability, while ensuring a laser focus on business outcomes. Many CPS topics will also yield monthly sprints aligned with an overarching Agile process to ensure rapid progress and accountability to results, while acting as connective tissue between sessions.
Left Brain/Right Brain
The HIT process engages both the left and right brain to connect the science of behavior change with the real-world application of a new set of behaviors and practices aimed at tangible business outcomes. We start with a brief tutorial up front, which lays out the science behind our approach. We then quickly become very experiential in the room around the HIT principles. As the mindsets take hold and new behaviors are adopted, our focus shifts to demonstrating the new practices within our teams and cascading them throughout the organization. In subsequent sessions, the team comes back to share their experiences in the real world of work and receive real-time coaching in the room to put in action before the next session.
Behavioral Science Practices & Exercises Throughout the sessions, HIT coaches conduct exercises to introduce and drive the adoption a new setof behaviors aligned with HIT principles. Specific exercises are aimed at increasing collaboration, candor, generosity, connection, service-orientation, and mutual support, while reducing conflict avoidance both within the room as well as during daily interactions. Exercises include Collaborative Problem Solving Sessions, Personal/Professional Check In, Open 360, Relationship Action Planning, Long Slow Dinner, Yoda in the Room, Gratitude Circle, and Dial Up/Dial Down.
Each of the sessions is preceded by a relational dinner the night before that uses storytelling to open up team members’ porosity, encourage greater empathy for and mutual understanding of the leader and individual team members, and instill a service orientation within the team.
One-on-One Coaching Between sessions, one-on-one coaching reinforces behaviors introduced during the sessions and helps cascade them out into the organization. Coaches also address the needs of individual team members.
Assessments & Diagnostics
Prior to the first session, we conduct an assessment to understand the relational dynamics among team members and the team’s unique strengths and gaps, so we can select the most relevant coaching interventions. In addition, we tailor the program to address team’s specific strategic objectives.
New Behaviors Adopted & Sustained
Eventually, the team-centric way of working is no longer new, but simply a reflex. The work all feels very natural because the focus is on business questions the team needs to address anyway. We just provide a framework of behavior and interaction that will develop better team habits.
A Deep Focus on Metrics
High-Impact Teams win in the market, and HIT measures its success just like the teams do—by wins. Throughout the seven-session HIT series, we regularly monitor the team’s progress toward team- and company-level objectives. Using executive-level dashboards during each of the HIT sessions, we focus on business outcomes and identify necessary sprints to achieve the short-term wins that enable long-term objectives.
Behavioral Diagnostic and Assessments
We also assess the degree of adoption of new behaviors. Before the first session, we administer an assessment to evaluate team dynamics as well as the presence (or absence) of specific high-return behaviors demonstrated by the highest-performing executive teams. Later, we revisit the assessment to gauge both individual and team-level progress, and use the insight to sharpen the focus of the remaining sessions to ensure we deliver on the promises of HIT.
What Our Clients Are Saying
“Ferrazzi Greenlight played a crucial role during the early formation of our executive team in helping develop deep trust and mutual commitment that enabled us to quickly and effectively execute our business strategy and achieve key business outcomes.”
– Bob Carrigan, CEO, Dun & Bradstreet
“FerrazziGreenlight’sHigh-ImpactTeamsmethodologyhastransformedthewaywe interact at Dun & Bradstreet. It has been applied to great success within the executive ranks, and we are now cascading it throughout the entire organization.”
– Josh Peirez, President and COO, Dun & Bradstreet
“I have always felt the need for a McKinsey approach to strategy and a Ferrazzi Greenlight behavioral change approach to ensure our people can execute on whatever strategy is at hand.”
– Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay Marketplace
“Our work with Ferrazzi Greenlight during the early stages of our executive team’s development radically accelerated our ability to have increasingly candid conversations and enabled us to efficiently and effectively address key tenets of our strategy as well as team dynamics.”
– John Reid-Dodick, Former Chief People Officer, Reuters
“The Ferrazzi Greenlight team helped us adopt a sense of mutual accountability, a greater focus on hard and soft skills, and peer-to-peer support networks all in service of individual, team, and corporate growth.”
– Lisa Buckingham, Chief Human Resources, Brand and Communications Officer, Lincoln Financial Group
“The combination of collaborative exercises focused on real business issues while addressing underlying team dynamics and behaviors yielded a powerful series of sessions that have accelerated our connectedness as a team in service of our larger goals.”
– Lisa Arthur, Former Chief Marketing Officer, Teradata Applications
Ferrazzi Greenlight is a research-based management consulting and coaching firm at the forefront of human behavior change in the workplace. Our consulting on high-return practices creates new habits that transform people, teams, and cultures. Through more than15 years of research and Fortune 1000 client work, we have learned that successful business transformation is not about changing the business as a whole; it is about aligning individual human behaviors with strategic priorities.
Introducing Keith Ferrazzi
Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone, is recognized as a global thought leader in the relational and collaborative sciences. As Founder of Ferrazzi Greenlight and its Research Institute, he works to identify behaviors that block global organizations from reaching their goals and to transform them by coaching new behaviors that increase growth and shareholder value.