Analyses & Studies

Heidrick & Struggles: What accelerating teams do better

The way teams operate and deliver can make or break a company’s performance as well as set the tone for it culture.

'Teams are the critical performance unit of any organization. As companies all over the world are reorganizing or restructuring to better navigate the pandemic and the economic crisis it triggered, resetting from one of the biggest shocks since the Great Depression, teams will no doubt become leaner and feel heightened pressure to perform better than ever. That’s true across the board but particularly important for leadership teams, for whom the stakes are at their highest. Getting teams motivated and providing the support employees need to perform at their best will have a positive impact not only on their results, but also on the overall organizational culture.

However, even before the pandemic, only 13% of the teams we analyzed were qualifying as the strongest performers—what we call“accelerating”—while about a third were derailing or lagging. Our research assessed more than 2,500 teams and identified 16 factors that can help them accelerate. Accelerating teams score high on all 16 factors, but, in our experience, three factors have the biggest impact on whether teams are accelerating or faltering: setting a clear direction, making effective decisions, and implementing a distributed leadership model, which ensures full team participation'

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About Heidrick & Struggles

From assessing and developing leaders, to ensuring the effectiveness of teams and organizations, to giving clients the tools they need to shape productive, effective cultures, Heidrick & Struggles is squarely focused on one thing: unlocking the power of leaders—and the teams and organizations they work in—to fast-track success. In addition, Heidrick & Struggles's executive search experts have helped many of the most successful organizations build their senior leadership teams.


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