Six Models of High-Performance Teams by Pat MacMillan

High-performance teams deliver value to the customer at maximum speed. They’re cohesive, committed, understand business impact, and actively grow skillsets (from Future Compute conference bulletin 2023).

Digital dexterity keeps employees in zinc with their company’s emerging technologies, so that high-performing teams ensure effectiveness and efficiency at every level of productivity.

In 2001, Pat MacMillan [1] published his book The Performance Factor in which he highlighted six characteristics of high-performance teams plotted out in The Team Wheel, showing how each characteristic fed into one another in building efficient and effect teams. [2] referenced MacMillan’s Team Wheel in its insightful blog The Secret Recipe to Building High-Performing Teams in 2022, saying (MacMillan’s six characteristic model)

is one of the best graphical explanations of a model of a high-performance team. The model resembles a circle in which each component is linked with each other in producing the desired solutions in achieving the best business results. 

Here is a description of the progression of this dynamic flow of collaboration that makes for high-performing teams in the digital world of flourishing technology, populated by a digitally dexterous workforce. 

We begin with a common purpose, the single most important ingredient in team success; it’s the reason for cooperation. The team is not itself an end, but rather the means to final successful results.

Purpose launches clear roles of interdependence within the team as the strategy for cooperation. Members know and understand each other’s roles that are designed and deployed in unifying trusted collaboration.

Leadership is accepted by the team and is the structure for cooperation. Leaders call out the levels of creativity and initiatives that motivate the digital dexterous employees to collective performance.

Effective processes promote the team to evaluate their cooperative progress by mapping their steps of collaboration, both successes and failures, as they mindfully move toward their goals and results. Team trust, respect, and mutual acceptance provides understanding members with energy to overcome differences.

Solid relationships are the bedrock of collaboration, the climate/culture of cooperation. The diversity of the team with its varied skills, experiences, and knowledge makes the team incrementally wiser than individuals in the team. The team has a worldwide lens for viewing their purpose to see more creative solutions and surround issues, challenges, and decisions with their collective brilliance. 

Finally, excellent communication is the very means of cooperation. A team cannot move faster than its communication, which is the hallmark of their fast, clear, and accurate collaboration. Their communication is straight talk, giving no room for wasted confusion and misunderstanding.  Effective communication is essential to collective thinking that gives energy to intentionality and decision-making.


[1] MacMillan, Pat (2001); The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork, Team Resources, Nashville, TN

[2] Simplilearn. com; The Secret Recipe to Building High-Performance Teams in 2023, – the_definition_of_a_high_performing_team