How many times have you used the word ‘team’ to describe a ‘group’ of people brought together for some common outcome or purpose? Not to worry, I hear this all the time. I’ve been guilty of it myself! What if we were more intentional about the way we put people together?  We know that high performing teams generate more – more efficiency, more effectiveness, more productivity, all adding up to more profit.


We bring people together as committees or subcommittees, pilots, beta testers, and focus groups. They assemble together to discuss one common thing, and then return to their regular programming – “the job they are paid to do”.

Troop or Troupe

The next step forward is a collection that gathers toward an established outcome. Think about the planning committees for retreats, or associates, or affinity groups, or even summer programs. These troupes may not be dancing, but they most certainly are expected to perform, at a given point in time, with some measure of success.


Here we put people together for an extended period of time, perhaps even years and years. In the professional sports world a contract would determine the timeline, but not necessarily the people you work with. Intentionally creating skills such as communication and conflict management, building rapport and creativity, and establishing trust. The more diverse a team, the higher the limit for beneficial outcomes.

In law firms, the crafting of teams is more like creating groups and expecting the benefits of teams. The opportunity is to identify the skills high performing teams’ exhibit: collaboration, communication, delegation, engagement, trust, strategic thinking and problem solving, and accountability – to name a few.

If you have teams in your firm, how would you score them on these skills? Now – how will you add more skills to raise their performance?

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About Judy Hissong

Judy Hissong is the President of Nesso Strategies. A former law firm Chief Operating Officer, she helps firms become more profitable by developing leaders. Her mission is “world domination for Good.” By creating actionable, lightbulb moments that leaders want to share and spread, she intends to improve the world one person at a time.

Judy Hissong