The Katzenbach and Smith Model

“Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith developed this team effectiveness model in 1993 after studying various teams who were experiencing challenges in their work environments.

They define a team as “a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable.” The model suggests that there are five levels of teamwork:

  1. Working group: Team members are operating as individuals and not together.
  2. Pseudo-team: Team members think they’re operating as a team, but are in fact, still working as individuals.
  3. Potential team: Team members are starting to work together.
  4. Real team: The team has accomplished a shared goal.
  5. High-performing team: Team members go beyond working together and are dedicated to each other’s development.

Their model showcases effective teams in a triangular diagram with the potential three outcomes (and what teams should strive for) as the three points: collective work products, personal growth, and performance results.

The Katzenbach and Smith Model

Image via Tmiberia 

To get there, they must work on the following three team effectiveness factors, which make up the sides of the triangle:

  • Skills: Problem-solving, technical, and interpersonal are a few examples of the skills every team member should possess.
  • Accountability: There should be mutual accountability as well as individual accountability when it comes to group projects and tasks.
  • Commitment: Dedication to work is more likely when everyone on the team is engaged and focused on group objectives.

Best suited for: Teams with members who are finding it difficult to transition from an individual working mindset to a team working mindset.”

Excerpted from:  “7 Popular Team Effectiveness Models and What they’re Best Suited For”

Source: Katzenbach, J. R. and Smith, D.K. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-performance Organisation. Harvard Business School, 1993.

Recent Posts