"Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success." 
Henry Ford

Have you ever been hustled into a conference room with a group of people you didn't know and someone has proclaimed - 'You're a team now'!  It's a bit like throwing a bunch of words on a piece of paper and calling it a book.  There's a lot more to it than that.

Certainly all teams start off coming together in some way.  Some teams are formed based on careful consideration of skills, personalities and other criteria and at the other end of the spectrum is a seemingly random grouping that defies reason.  Interestingly, one is not always better than the other and it takes work to get a group of people to be a team, much less a high performing team.   Taking individuals, grouping them together and then evolving them first into a team and then an effective team and finally a high performing team is as much an art as it is a science.  

Every individual is different and brings their unique background, skills and personality to the team, making every team unique.  Even changing one member of a team changes the dynamics and not being aware and responsive to change is the downfall of many a team.  

Successful Teams don't just happen!

Everyone is clear on the team's objectives and all are working toward the same goals.
Everyone on the team actively contributes and team members make sure everyone has a voice.
Everyone on the team is personally accountable for their expected contributions to the team.  They respect each other and set healthy boundaries.
Everyone feels free to express their ideas, opinions and feelings.  The team is a safe space.
The team works hard, but has fun, too.  They know how to handle conflict and eliminate friction to maintain healthy working relationships for everyone.
The team makes their own decisions and works through any issues to find common ground and consensus.  They aren't afraid to ask for help.
Ground Rules
The team has set of rules on how they work together and treat each other so that everyone knows what is expected.
Problem Solving
Disagreement is a healthy part of finding the best solutions.  Conflict is managed, criticism is constructive and everyone is treated with respect.
Everyone on the team is a leader and leadership of the team may naturally shift as appropriate to reach a goal.  No member of the team is more important than any other.

These are the traits that define the foundation of a high performing team.  How do your teams stack up?