Harvard Business School

A few weeks ago I was with Manel Peiró PhD, Academic Vice-Dean of ESADE Business School. On his desk was a copy of the new book by Michael Beer, professor at the Harvard Business School, “High Commitment, High Performance: How to Build a Resilient Organization for Sustained Advantage”. Since his doctoral thesis had discussed the commitment in medicine, we started to talk about the topic.

Many researchers based on the premise that a high level of performance is a direct result a high level of commitment. In Beer’s research focused on the commitment of leaders, may be true. But not so when we talk about teams.

In my research on the cooperation model in complexity “Cooplexity”, I show that after an initial individual dimension of knowledge acquisition, cohesion is a definite key factor in the development of the group. When the group becomes conscious of itself as a unit with its meaning, we call them a team. However, a cohesive and highly committed team doesn’t get the best results just only by those facts. When the group becomes a team in the full sense, we still need something more. It is the self-coordination function as a natural and spontaneous process to achieve coordination in a decentralised manner, sharing alerts, visualising cross opportunities and focusing on a common goal. At this level, two factors help getting results, equal relationship and the establishment of criteria for action.

Cooplexity Model Summary Table

SCOPELEVELSCATALYSTSFACTORSACTIVITIES
IndividualKnowledgeExplorationProactivity oriented to resultsData gathering
Decision making
Control of the objective
Proactivity oriented to relationsInteraction
Interchange
Relation
GroupCohesionCommon projectGroup integrationCooperation
Normalization
Implication
Trust generationEquality
Generosity
TeamSelf-coordinationInterconnectionsEqual relationshipMutual consideration
Respect
Criteria for actionDefinition of criteria
Unification of criteria
Alternative criteria

So when we talk about high-performance teams, commitment is a necessary but not sufficient. Without cohesion, self-coordination is not reached, but it is the latter which ensures a high level of performance.

I’m proud to share my research inviting you to:

  1. EVALUATE: preview and download the second edition for free at Google Docs.
  2. BUYTHE BOOK in pdf (€6.99), ePub (€9.99) or paperback edition (€24.00).
Love this article? Share it: