COVID-19 took over the world earlier this year , disrupted the global economy and led people all over the world to a new era of unknown. Teams who walked into office the same time, had lunch together and most importantly, worked sitting across each other, suddenly had to do it all from the confines of their homes. Most teams today across organizations, resort to spending all their time in online meetings trying to replicate the old world. Markus Keiper during a virtual learning and development program hosted by XED Institute of Management and delivered by Singapore Management University, called out that it is important for the world to realise that our world has definitely changed irretrievably. He enlightened the leaders who participated in the program on the key strategies to build a High Performance Team in this VUCA time.


“We are past the point of no return.” – Markus Keiper



The definition of what a High Performance Team (HPT) is, has changed significantly across the last few months after the BC era (Before Corona era) as Markus quipped. The leaders who participated in the session were asked to list on a word cloud platform, the key words that came to their minds when they thought about HPT in both the Before Corona and the After Corona eras. Though the words “Passionate”, “Consistent” and “Team Work” represented the majority opinion of HPT in the BC era, the words “Agile”, “Adaptability” and “Digital” took pole positions for HPT in the after corona era.

This activity highlighted the obvious yet unaccepted reality of today’s world. The fact that our world and its definitions, as we knew it has changed! This new world that we suddenly found ourselves in, needs drastic approaches. To stay relevant in this turbulent time, even for the biggest names in the world of business it is imperative to reinvent how teams within organizations work together.


“Look forward, don’t let what is happening now overwhelm you.” – Markus Keiper


Though definitions indeed did change considerably, some key ideas of working with a HPT still hold true. Markus pointed that trust is always the number one foundation for a High Performance Team. Trust builds an environment where every single member of a HPT can be committed, result oriented and accountable to the team.

“It is a lot easier to buy-in to any decision, when one’s idea is included.” – Markus Keiper

Without trust, there can never be debates when team members have diverging ideas. When one’s approach is ignored, instead of the team discussing and analyzing the idea, there can never be a sense of commitment to the project. Without commitment there’s no accountability to the team. When team members are not accountable to both themselves and each other, the result will only be a mere completion of assigned tasks and never a collective goal oriented execution. All you have in an environment without trust and passionate debate, is an artificial sense of harmony. A superficiality that will definitely drift apart in the long-term.


Especially in today’s world, where team members are working miles away from each other, building trust is tougher to achieve than what it already was in the BC era. A leader has to understand that people today value purpose and fulfilment. Achieving numbers in the short-term cannot be the goal. Though immediate targets might be met, when the environment is not conducive to make each team member comfortable and thus bring out their best performance, trust is lost. Trust, though slow to build is lost very quickly.

A leader has to build a team of highly motivated and highly ethical team members. A HPT is an environment where a lot of stories are told – failure stories, happy stories and even funny stories. The emotional connect established through stories will make team members know that not just their tasks, but their voices and priorities are all equally valued by the entire team and the organization on the whole.

Markus closed by emphasizing that losing a client is a substantial loss even amidst all the chaos that is happening all over the world. He reiterated the pivotal role every leader has to play to build a HPT, leading by example by being accountable, committed and goal oriented. Every conflict should be embraced and brainstormed by the team. All organisations need to embrace a High Performance culture, build on the foundation of trust, to withstand this storm. Whenever the threat of COVID-19 does goes away, every team which succeeds in ingraining a High Performance environment in their DNA, will stand tall and ready for the next crisis!

XED Institute of Management believes that every organisation is unique and similarly has unique learning requirements. We work closely with our University Partners to seamlessly create and deliver customised executive education courses specifically designed for middle, senior, and top management. If you are part of an organisation looking to institute leadership, strategic, and digital frameworks to your advantage, XED through its rich experience of imparting quality custom executive education programs for 50+ Fortune 500 companies worldwide is your ideal partner in this journey. Visit the link to know more – https://www.xed.co.in/

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