6 Compelling Reasons To Work With Ascend


Is your senior team ticking along, your senior leaders just towing the line, or your organisation/team are experiencing sub-par performance and are vulnerable if a crisis hits?

If this sounds like you, your senior team and/or senior leaders, please feel reassured that you’re not alone. It’s a minefield to navigate this world and experience quick performance results without some help.

We’ve been working with senior leaders and senior teams for over 25 years and we understand the challenge of performing at your best on a consistent basis in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment (otherwise known as VUCA).

At Ascend, we know that sustainable successful businesses are made of successful senior teams and leaders. So why should you invest in our Successful Teams Model to help you achieve the success you know your team and organisation are capable of? Read on and find out….

1. Enhance your Internal Focus

Our Successful Teams Model is a simple and pragmatic diagnostic tool that we’ll use to pin point the key areas where your senior leaders and/or team are really strong and areas which require changing, developing and improving. The first dimension we look at is your senior team’s and leader’s Internal Focus.

Internal Focus is when you pay attention to how your team performs, you recognise what it is doing well and where it needs more focus and how you can continually improve the internal workings of your team to consistently meet and exceed your objectives.

Characteristics of successful senior teams with incredible internal focus are the following:

• Know how to organise themselves to achieve results in the most efficient and effective way possible.

• Have clear goals, roles, responsibilities and communicate openly with each other.

• Make sound decisions in a timely fashion based on diverse perspectives and multiple data sources where possible.

• Excellent at prioritizing and focusing on the things that are really important.

Senior teams with poor internal focus may experience the following:

• Make slow and poor decisions, often in cliques and miss opportunities.

• Over communicate to try and reach consensus.

• Senior leader makes decisions on their own, without the full perspective of the whole team.

• Duplicate or omit important tasks.

• Run sloppy meetings and don’t keep a record of what is going on (or should be).

• Don’t hold each other accountable and focus on the things they like doing, rather than the most important things that will help them increase motivation, improve customer relations, and ultimately, win more business.

If you’d like to find out more on Internal Focus, read our blog Part 1: What Makes A Successful Team: Internal Focus.

2. Strengthen your External Focus

External Focus is the second dimension we hone in on and this is when a senior team remains focused on their key stakeholders, clients and/or the people they lead - no matter what.

Characteristics of successful senior teams with great external focus are the following:

• Never lose focus of their stakeholders, clients and their people.

• Communicate effectively outside the core team.

• Establish strong external relationships.

• Continually benchmark and monitor what is going on around them, in case it impacts their performance.

Senior teams with poor external focus may experience the following:

• Stakeholders, clients and their people experience a lack of clear communication and feel under valued.

• External relationships are weak, unreliable and lacking.

• Progress and strength of relationships are not monitored, evaluated or checked, resulting in poor performance.

If you’d like to find out more on External Focus, read our blog Part 2: What Makes A Successful Team: External Focus.

3. Create a strong, positive culture of mutual trust and respect

Team Spirit is the third dimension we explore with you as part of our Successful Teams model. Spirit is defined as the prevailing or typical quality, mood, or attitude of a person, group, or period of time. When a person or group of people are feeling happy, content and purposeful, they perform at their highest level, so naturally it is a key element of a successful team.

Successful senior teams with incredible levels of spirit experience the following:

• Develop and maintain a strong climate of mutual trust and respect.

• Comfortable giving and receiving positive and developmental feedback, as well as being able to deal constructively with conflict.

• Know that diverse perspectives help make better and more informed decisions.

• Team members collaborate effectively and build on each other’s ideas and energy.

A team with low spirit likely experiences:

• Distrust between members.

• Team members who do not get on well.

• The team just doesn’t feel right.

• Historical issues and past troublesome conversations continue to cause conflict.

If you’d like to find out more on Spirit, read our blog Part 3: What Makes A Successful Team: Spirit.

4. Effectively and efficiently adapt to the current volatile, uncertain, complex and ambitious business environment

Unlike other team performance models, our six-dimension Successful Teams Model focuses on a senior leader’s and senior team’s ability to quickly and easily navigate in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambitious (VUCA) business environment - we call this: Agility, and it’s the fourth dimension of our model.

Successful senior teams with excellent agility experience the following:

• Able to practice and maintain agile principles in VUCA environments.

• Create innovative, practical solutions and know indistinctly whether to change direction or persevere.

• Take appropriate risk, being bold when they need to be and are flexible enough to change or modify their approach - if the current one isn’t working.

• Continually learning and applying that knowledge to improve and stay competitive in the market.

Teams with poor agility likely experience:

• Don’t change direction when they need to.

• Lack creativity and innovation to stay competitive in the market.

• Very rigid and slow in decision making.

• Competition likely to overtake and travel down a very different path.

If you’d like to find out more on Agility, read our blog Part 4: What Makes A Successful Team: Agility.

5. Take your resilience to the next level

Next to being agile, resilience is the most vital element of a high performing, successful team. This is because of today’s VUCA business environment and it’s therefore paramount that senior leaders and teams are able to perform at their best and bounce back quickly - no matter what.

Resilience is the ability of a senior leader and senior team being able to maximise their performance and achievements when times are tough, as well as bouncing back quickly from setbacks when leaders, teams and/or organisations have been blindsided by things outside of its control.

Successful, resilient teams have the following characteristics:

• Continuously able to produce great results when the going gets and stays tough.

• Persistent and remain goal-focused in difficult times.

• Ability to quickly bounce back from setbacks and get back on track even when events or emergencies occur out of their control and without warning.

Teams without resilience may look like this:

• Senior leaders and team members have a negative and pessimistic mindset.

• Focus on what they can’t control and adopt a victim mentality.

• Are unproductive, focusing on the wrong things and complete work slowly, distracted easily.

• Poor engagement among team members.

• Low energy levels due to lack of sleep, poor health and low mood.

If you’d like to find out more on Resilience, read our blog Part 5: What Makes A Successful Team: Resilience.

6. Strengthen your team’s leadership

Our model is able to diagnose your senior leader’s and team’s leadership strengths and weakness, and with our support, we’re able to help you create a roadmap to elite team leadership.

Successful teams with strong team leadership experience the following:

• Leaders provide clear direction of their team’s ultimate goal.

• Team has a clearly defined purpose: it knows why it exists and the impact it is striving to make.

• Leaders have the ability to blend the appropriate mixture of support and challenge at a team and individual level, to continually get the best out of both.

• Know how and when to share leadership across the team to maximise the response when the situation and context requires it.

Teams with poor leadership experience:

• Leaders and team are unclear about their ultimate goal and purpose.

• Leadership isn’t shared amongst the team effectively, leading to individual strengths and weaknesses being ignored and not leveraged.

• Team members are not supported and challenged as required, resulting in low performance and targets missed.

If you’d like to find out more on Leadership, read our blog Part 6: What Makes A Successful Team: Leadership.

If you’re worried about the performance of your senior leaders or teams and its just not working as well as it should, our diagnostic tool, Successful Teams Model, will be able to help you leverage strengths, pin point weakness and create a road map to elite senior leader and team performance.

Email Christina.Grieve@ascend.world to find out more.

Christina Grieve