February 16, 2022

There are so many variables at play when you bring a group of people together.

Differing personalities, skill and knowledge levels.

Hidden agendas, baggage and ‘we’ve tried that before and it didn’t work’ attitudes.

Confusion or a lack of clarity over goals and objectives along with other organisational challenges are just a few of the challenges you might face.

With so many variables at play, how do you know where to focus attention so that the team can make conscious decisions that will help it to perform to its best ability?



The answer: focus on clarity, climate and competence

The answer is to focus on the 3Cs: clarity, climate and competence. The theory in a nutshell is that for teams to be successful, they need these three conditions to be in place.



Clarity: is the team clear about what it’s trying to achieve, why and the strategies it needs to put in place to achieve it? Are the measures clear and roles clearly defined?

Climate: has the team defined what the ‘hard’ climate like resources, systems, structure and processes and ‘soft’ climate including culture and stakeholder relationships should look like?

Competence: does the team have the right leadership skills, knowledge, behaviour and attitude in place to deliver optimum performance?

“If the team has a nagging feeling that their performance could be improved, considering the factors under the 3Cs will help identify where the challenge may lie and importantly enable the team to take action to address the gap.”

Mark Ferguson, Head of EMEA

We know from experience that the 3Cs work, but it’s also backed up by research from the London School of Economics. You can read more about it here in our White Paper: A Team Centred Approach to Organisational Development.



Example scenario: focus on climate

A team looking at its climate for example, might discuss:

  • Whether the team has effective processes in place for allocating work
  • Is the team making the most of the team member’s strengths?
  • Is there tension within the team that needs resolving?
  • Can the team talk openly with each other without causing offence?

At this stage the focus is on having an open and honest conversation about what’s working well and what isn’t within the team and getting the right dynamics and behaviours in place.


Actionable data and insight: a word of warning  

Part of this conversation is also agreeing how the team will track its progress against the 3Cs – even if there’s a lack of actionable data or insight to hand. We’ve found that there tend to be plenty of metrics to track organisational and individual progress, but this often isn’t the case when it comes to teams.

Some clients turn to Squadify for team data and insight. It’s a simple platform that allows teams to assess and track team progress. Team members answer a series of questions about their team dynamics (based on the 3Cs) and use the answers to guide conversations and plan.


Final Point: Don’t forget to celebrate the successes  

One final point. It’s easy for these conversations to focus on the gaps and where things aren’t working well. Keeping energy and enthusiasm up is important so, remember to celebrate what’s working well too.


Resources to help keep your team on track 

The 3Cs forms a foundation for our approach to support teams through our Team Acceleration, but especially in step 3 when we focus on getting the team to really consider the dynamics of how they are operating. If you want to find out about the first two steps, check out the links below or download our November 2021 Webinar which takes you through all five steps. It’s full of fantastic ideas, insights and observations from the LIW team on how you can get your team performing at its best.

Is your team heading in the right direction?

Does your team have its own identity, vision and purpose?

Click here to watch the Team Acceleration Webinar

Squadify: check out this simple platform from our friends at Squadify that enables teams to assess and track their progress

If you want to talk to someone about developing your team you can contact:

Dan Meek, CEO (Australia), Mark Ferguson, Head of EMEA (UK)



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