Professional Services Team - From Dysfunction to High Performance

This professional services firm is a global leader in its field and a strong player in Greater China. The partners on this team are highly educated and come from strong backgrounds with a plethora of experience. The state of team was characterized by a group of highly competent consultants operating in silos with little transparency and a dearth of office or Greater China team identity.

This was borne out by the Team Quotient, which based on the TQ Healthcheck came out as “dysfunctional”. There was a fundamental lack of trust and transparency. The key partners didn’t take the time to work together as a team, but rather as individuals pursuing their own business growth agendas. The mix of personalities at that time contributed to the sense of individualism where consultants didn’t spend much time together either at work or socially.


The first stage was to clearly diagnose the situation. This was done through extensive interviews with all consultants as well as conducting a TQ HealthCheck Aspects of culture and behavior were highlighted. It became clear that there was a dearth of team building efforts over the years, and in fact, the issues were never properly addressed. After this process the results were presented and discussed with consultants to validate and achieve a clear consensus of the current state of affairs of the team, and the causes.

At this stage a key milestone was to achieve a broad willingness to change and move forward. Subsequently we facilitated a two-day workshop. All the issues were surfaced. The team engaged in our proprietary “Rear View Feedback” in which they all shared with each other about contributions to the team in a safe, structured environment. They came up with clear “Values” which they will operate with moving forward. They came up with a “Mantra” which embodies the Values. Finally, operating teams were set up to handle the issues. The group celebrated its successes during the two days.


After 6 months a TQ HealthCheck was done again, with a dramatic improvement. The Values were cascaded throughout the organization and it became clear at all levels what they stood for. The working groups created meaningful and actionable results. Most importantly a new culture was created in which the team moved from a group of silo operatives to taking advantage of team synergy. The consultant partners clearly are living the espoused values and “walking their talk”. Team members are helping one another and being supportive. Importantly, the team possesses a strong identity and members are proud to be part of the team. The backbiting is gone and issues are confronted upfront with transparency. Now that the team dynamics have fundamentally shifted to the positive, they are looking at how to move it to the next level.

Douglas Gerber is Founder and CEO of Focus One, a consulting firm that helps leaders create High Performance Teams. After 23 years as a corporate executive, he developed a reputation for building successful teams. Later, as a consultant, he has personally worked with leaders from over 70 companies to develop their own winning Teams. Drawing from his own extensive background and 10 years of research, Douglas innovated the concept of “Team Quotient” (TQ). He is a thought leader in the area of team transformation. Learn more about Douglas and his upcoming book Team Quotient: How to Build High Performance Leadership Teams that Win Every Time on

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