The secret to high performance in an unstable world

Teams are under pressure to perform like never before. Yet at today’s turbulent pace, teams are often lagging. We have a theory about why.


For many years, leaders around the world have used the time honored “Tuckman Model” to help navigate the turbulence. Even managers with minimal training are aware of Tuckman’s 4 stages of Team Development: 1. Forming 2. Storming 3. Norming 4. Performing.


Since 1965, Tuckman’s model has helped leaders move their teams to higher levels of functionality. It’s an important part of the history of organization development.


However, Bruce Tuckman formulated his model in an era where the pace of change was far slower. Teams and organizations tended to stay in place for years, rather than today’s rate of mere months. And yet many managers are still fixated on a goal of stability: “If we can just get through storming, we can get stable…and then we’ll really perform.”


But stability of the 1950s and 60s is long gone. Markets and technology change too quickly. If you’re a leader who seeks an end state of stability, you’re likely to feel constantly frustrated at never reaching it.


We propose a radically different approach: Rapid community building to build trust.


Our experience, along with a great deal of research, tells us that high trust levels are the foundation of “high performing” teams. Regardless of industry or circumstance, high trust is what performance is all about. And the most effective leaders build trust very quickly.


The natural outcome? A “community of trust” that can navigate today’s turbulence not with an eye to stability, but instead with the skills to collaborate more effectively.



PeopleFirm’s Leadership Capability program teaches leaders of all levels how to apply rapid community building to your practice. Become expert trust builders and gain a competitive advantage. Come talk to us.