We asked HR professionals from a range of companies about team performance. 

Loud and clear, the answer to the question “What factors limit effective team performance?” was clarity, or more specifically the lack of it.

Aspects involving clarity polled 35% with the subsequent most popular limiting factors (leadership and team dynamics) polling at 12%. 

Looking closely at the full form answers, one after another cited:

  • Lack of clear purpose
  • Roles
  • Goals
  • Shared vision
  • Strategy and
  • Accountability

People shared that the disconnection was true of the wider organisation as well as the team. Huge efforts, copious amounts of work, but how it connected to anything and what it was all for seemed an elusive concept.

Why does this disconnection limit performance?

Because we cannot work meaningfully in a vacuum.

When we are disconnected from purpose, shared goals etc… we are also disconnected from our energy source, what motivates us, what makes us feel that our effort is worthwhile, not only to ourselves but to the system in which we work.

Why does this disconnection happen?

In the same way there is good and bad communication, I believe there is good and bad connection, and sometimes the thing we are connected to, prevents the deeper nourishing connection we need to thrive rather than just survive.

The obvious example of this is the multiplicity of screens to which we have constant access. We are connected, yes, but not in a meaningful way. It has become a cliché to talk about all the ways we are disconnected when connected.

So a clue to unravelling why all this disconnection in organisations is to ask:

What are we connected to that we have to disconnect from?

And, what are we disconnected from that we have to connect to?

For example

  • Are we connected to the short term at the expense of the long term?
  • Are we forgetting the needs of a whole range of stakeholders to satisfy a minority?
  • What are the intrinsic disconnections inside the organisation which lead to the lack of clarity experienced in our poll?

Does quality count?

In a previous blog we talked about how the degree to which we feel connected will determine the quality of that interaction.

If we don’t feel connected to purpose, vision, goals then it follows that the quality we bring to our work will be less than optimum.

It is why people have listed this lack as a team limiter.

I wonder what will define this year as a decade.

We recognise past monikers – The Roaring 20s, the turbulent 30s, the greedy 80s. In our Christmas blog we wished people a re-connection to their roots, we certainly hope for a positive moniker for the 2020s – the connected 20s. For it is connection to what is important that will bring clear-sightedness and joined-up action.


At GBL we believe that true connection comes from having a near and long perspective.

The long one expands the boundaries of the organisation to include as stakeholders the communities it serves for the good of the planet. The near perspective considers its own people and connects with them through purpose, vision, values, promises and legacy.

This is the clarity needed to enable teams and all other entities in an organisation. Isn’t having clear near and long vision called 20/20?

Here’s hoping for a decade of 20/20 vision!

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