The Katzenbach and Smith model was developed in 1993 following a study on the teams experiencing teamwork challenges. The researches suggested there are five levels of teamwork: A working group, a pseudo-team, a potential team, a real team, and a high-performing team – the one all organizations are striving to achieve.
    Working Group
    This is a group for which there is no significant incremental performance need or opportunity the would require it to become a team. The members interact primarily to share information, best practices, or perspectives and to make decisions to help each individual perform within his or her area of responsibility.

    This is a group for which their could be a significant, incremental performance need or opportunity, but it has not focused on collective performance and is not really trying to achieve it. It has no interest in shaping a common purpose or set of performance goals, even though it may call itself a team. Pseudo teams are the weakest of all groups in terms of performance impact.

    Potential Team
    This is a group for which there s a significant, incremental performance need, and that really is trying to improve its performance impact. Typically, however, it requires more clarity about purpose, goals or work-products and more discipline in hammering out a common working approach. It has not yet established collective accountability.

    Real Team
    This is a small number of people with complementary skills who are equally committed to a common purpose, goals, and working approach for which the hold themselves mutually accountable.

    High Performance Team
    This is a group that meets all the conditions of real teams, and has members who are also deeply committed to each other's personal growth and success. That commitment usually transcends the team. The high performance team significantly outperforms all other like teams, and outperforms all reasonable expectations given its membership.

    (J.R. Katzenbach & D.K. Smith, Wisdom of Teams, 1993)
    The three outcomes of high performance teamwork placed at the points of the triangular model are:
    • Collective work products
    • Performance results
    • Personal growth
    Team Qualities - Teamleadsky
    In order to achieve all three outcomes, a team must work on three effectiveness factors: skills, accountability, and commitment placed at the sides of the triangle.

    For a small number of people where there is accountability on a mutual team basis and for each individual.

    Is driven by a meaningful and agreed purpose for the team, a common approach with specific goals to achieve the purpose.

    The team needs members to cover all the technical and functional skills for the task in hand and develop problem-solving abilities alongside effective interpersonal communication.

    This model is a great tool for achieving the shift from an individual mindset to a team mindset. It can help to increase engagement and ownership, support the team members in defining a meaningful purpose and communicating across the organization.