Improve Team Performance: The 3 Dimensions of Readiness

Published on June 17, 2011 in Best Practices, Procedures, Policies | No Comments

Knowledge, Execution, and Behavior.


For team members to be fully prepared to do their jobs, they have to be ready on 3 dimensions – Knowledge, Execution, and Behavior. These 3 dimensions affect how a team will perform and are an integral part of any readiness assessment or improvement activity.

In his book, Jack Welch & The G.E. Way, author Robert Slater observes that legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch described four types of managers: Those that either met or did not meet their commitments and either shared or did not share the company’s values and culture. Either a team member gets things done, or not, and either behaves the “right way” or not.

Getting things done, meeting commitments, requires the appropriate knowledge and the ability to execute. Knowing what to do and how to do it, combined with the motivation and capability to make it happen. Similarly, values and culture speak to the behavior and the attitude a team member displays. Below are our observations on the 3 dimensions of team readiness and suggestions for how to achieve it.

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1. Knowledge.

  • Knowledge is knowing the who, what, why, where, when or how of a particular subject. It has to be sufficient and correct for the subject in question. It is the information and understanding necessary for a team member to do their job on time, safely, correctly, as expected.
  • Knowledge has three components: Information, Understanding, and Wisdom.
    • Information – Inputs, data, and messages that provide answers, insights, and inspiration regarding the who, what, why, where, when, or how of a particular subject.
    • Understanding – Interpretation, analysis or reasoning of information that gives direction for judgement, action, conclusions, decisions, or clarification regarding the who, what, why, where, when, or how of a particular subject.
    • Wisdom – The ability to apply information and understanding for judgement, discernment, recognition of opportunity, and exploitation of opportunity; to recognize situations or opportunities, find solutions to problems, prevent problems from occurring, regulate behavior as appropriate for a particular situation, or forecast consequences of actions or events.
  • Knowledge has three sources: Invention, discovery, and Sharing.
    • Invention – A learning process involving thinking, experimentation, testing, trail & error to find things of value such as solutions to problems, products and services for the marketplace, or improvements in lifestyle.
    • Discovery – Is finding or uncovering something that already existed but was not known or accessible.
    • Sharing – When someone who has something gives it to someone else.
  • To achieve team readiness, team members must have the information and understanding necessary to do a job on time, safely, correctly, and as expected. Because of the rapidly changing innovations in technology and the changing needs of the organization, it is important to keep the production and sharing of knowledge up to date.
    • Knowledge Readiness Examples – Procedures, process documentation, policies, learnings, case studies, best practices, and reports that communicate how to do jobs or report on events that occurred.

2. Execution.

  • Execution is the process of completing the steps necessary to get a job done. It is about meeting commitments, finishing the job, and achieving results.
  • Execution has three components – Means, Motivation and Opportunity.
    • Means – Is having the resources necessary to do the job. The people, equipment, tools, knowledge, etc..
    • Motivation – Is a desire that leads to action. For team members, it is a desire to do a job that leads to the job getting done. There are many ways to motivate a team member, depending on the circumstances. Examples include: financial reward, peer pressure, a desire to not let other team members down, a sense of personal responsibility, recognition and personal achievement, a fear of failure, a work environment that is conducive to being productive, etc..
    • Opportunity – Is having the time, access, and focused attention necessary to complete the job. It is amazing how much the role of opportunity impacts team performance, yet is often taken for granted. Team members get pulled in so many different directions, often reacting to the “crisis of the moment,” that it becomes a challenge to focus on doing any one job properly. Similarly, the role of “access” is often ignored. Consider the all too frequent case of the team member who drives an hour from his shop to a job site only to find out that he did not have the keys he needed to get into the facility and did not have access to the job. A silly example is that of the bank robber who has the means, motivation, time, and focus to rob the bank, but cannot get access to the safe because of all the people around.
  • To achieve team readiness, team members must have the means, motivation, and opportunity to execute their job functions.
    • Means Readiness Examples (excluding Knowledge Readiness Examples shown above) – Inventory of tools and resources available, etc.
    • Motivation Readiness Examples – Systems and policies for financial benefits, processes for managing accountability and completion of work, performance reviews, etc.
    • Opportunity Readiness Examples – Workload capacity plans, work orders for orderly scheduling and management of work requests, etc.

3. Behavior.

  • Behavior can be defined in a number of ways. For many team members, behavior is primarily concerned with the way a team member interacts with other people while performing his or her job function. This framework for behavior has three components: social norms, situational performance, and personal style.
    • Social Norms – Conformance to the expected social norms of the team regarding interactive behavior with other people. It considers the way a person goes about doing the general everyday activities of their job (such as asking for information, performing a task, or even making friendly conversation during lunch). Many organizations view this type of behavior as “expected” and assume that most team members know what is appropriate behavior in a work environment.
    • Situational Performance – Is the way a person performs specific tasks that may require special skills such as dealing with a difficult customer or giving feedback after negative performance review.
    • Personal Preferences – Is the way in which someone likes to do things or how they like others to do things. It considers things such as a person’s personal habits, learning styles, basis for decision making, responses to the actions of others, and communication styles.
  • To achieve team readiness, team members must have the social norms, situational performance, and an awareness or appreciation for the personal preferences of others to execute their job functions.
    • Social Norms Readiness Examples – Service Level Agreements with customers and suppliers, Operating Agreements with team members, mission statements and values statements, dress code examples, etc.
    • Situational Performance Readiness Examples – Specific training, plans, procedures, and policies for the issue in question such as customer service, supplier contract negotiation, appraisal performance feedback, conflict resolution, etc.
    • Personal Preferences Readiness Examples – Various training programs that help make team members aware of their own preferences and the preferences of others such as sensitivity training, Need-based theories, personality types, etc.



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“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

– Jack Welch , Former Chairman & CEO of The General Electric Company


TeamReadiness Helps Your Team
Achieve Readiness


  • 1. We document your plans, procedures, processes, policies, best practices, and training courses.

  • 2. TeamReadiness documentation is highly visual, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand.

  • 3. TeamReadiness documentation provides powerful knowledge that team members, suppliers, and customers need.

  • 4. Our TRM On Demand™ software provides easy and secure online access to your documentation, training, and records.

  • 5. Easily create online tests and course completion certificates that reinforce learning and build esprit de corps.

  • 6. Easily communicate and collaborate with your team to optimize knowledge and learning.

  • 7. TeamReadiness gets people involved and engaged in ways that promote “buy-in,” sharing, collaboration, and cooperation.

  • 8. TeamReadiness documentation breaks learning down into small, quick, easily understood videos or other formats.

Let TeamReadiness help. We can assist with the entire process to quickly and cost effectively mitigate the risk of uncertainty and achieve team readiness!




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