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Identifying the drivers of high performance

Published 29/02/2020 - 3 min Read

By Armstrong Craven Team

Talent Research Specialists

Quick Summary A case study on our research into the effectiveness of a leadership team.

3 min Read

Identifying the drivers of high performance


A tight-knit and highly focused on their goals, high performance teams achieve superior business results almost always. Typically, they are more strategic with their meetings, invest time bonding over non-work topics and give (and receive) appreciation more frequently.

Typical characteristics of those within a high performance team include:

Participative leadership – using a democratic leadership style that involves and engages team members

Clear goals – goals that are developed using SMART criteria; also each goal must have personal meaning and resonance for each team member, building commitment and engagement

Defined roles and responsibilities – each team member understands what they must do (and what they must not do) to demonstrate their commitment to the team and to support team success

Coordinative relationship – the bonds between the team members allow them to seamlessly coordinate their work to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness

Positive atmosphere – an overall team culture that is open, transparent, positive, future-focused and able to deliver success

Without a doubt, working around or as part of a high performance team generates a certain type of buzz and mutual respect, constantly enriching and employing the best out of themselves and those around them. Additional benefits of effective leadership for organisations include:

For Business Owners - Members of high performance teams are independent and require less ‘spoon-feeding’ or training.

For Employees- Those who work within a high performance team are considerably more motivated and have higher job satisfaction as a result of their coordinative relationships.

The Challenge: Improving leadership effectiveness

If a business is not performing according to expectations, it can be difficult to ascertain where the root of the problem lies. In one particular circumstance,  our client was concerned that leadership issues might be preventing the company from making progress. They asked us to investigate why results were disappointing compared to those of competitors.

Our Approach

We set out to identify the issues that might be impacting on performance.

Our research combined desk-based market research of the field marketing industry as well as telephone interviews with clients, potential clients, key competitors and other trusted industry insiders. We used the intelligence gathered to build insight into perceptions surrounding the subsidiary, challenges it might be facing in particular and underlying industry trends that might also be impacting on them.

Our line of questioning inclined toward defining how excellence in field marketing is achieved, which allowed us to benchmark the individual organisation’s performance and that of its key people against that of its competitors.

The Results

We discovered that the challenges that this business faced were partly due to prevailing market conditions, but also partly attributable to the existing management team. The market in which they were operating had become saturated and their services commoditised.

While its competitors had developed new, experiential and bespoke marketing offerings, this company had not been as responsive to market trends. They were experiencing increasing difficulty in differentiating their services from their competitors’. Their profile had dropped as a result. Flaws in business development and tendering processes were also hindering business wins.

Our recommendations included taking steps to raise the profile of the organisation; addressing concerns raised with the current CEO; and adapting to new market realities by adopting a ‘Go-to-market’ model for strengthening the business development effort: targeting the right people, with the right product, at the right price, in the right way and the right place.

There was a double gain from the work undertaken. Not only was the client given an objective critique of their subsidiary’s performance, but they also received a comprehensive review of their market and recommendations for how to tackle it.

We needed to rely upon our extensive experience of similarly sensitive commercial due diligence projects. We were discreet in our information gathering. Our understanding of the complex problems that this business faced was subtle. Our recommendations were sympathetic and well founded.

This was a bespoke solution to a particular client’s needs. Armstrong Craven knows that there isn’t an effective, standard way of delivering this type of intervention so we work with every client to shape a project plan that best suits their needs, their timescale and their budget.


If you require effective leadership within your business, speak to a member of our team now about how we can help you build your high performance team.

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