Team Rhythms

I was inspired by Christina Wodtke’s “Design the Team you need to Succeed” to create my own version of the framework, filling-in some of the aspects that I felt were missing in the original version:

A team is a multi-disciplinary group that acts in a coordinated manner, over time, toward a shared goal. It is:

  • Bounded — Clear who is — and who is not — on the team
  • Stable — Membership is kept intact for some period of time
  • Interdependent — Members share accountability for a common purpose

High team performance requires working agreements among team members across 3 key dimensions:

  • Goals — Strategy, Initiatives, OKRs — the Why-What-How
  • Structures — Roles, processes and governance
  • Relationships — group norms, personal and interpersonal dynamics and growth

These working agreements are first defined when the team is formed, and then maintained and iterated upon through 3 operating rhythms: Perform (weekly), Reform (monthly) and Transform (quarterly).

Form Rhythm (kick-off workshop)

Target: establish working agreements needed for high team performance


  • Introduce Team Rhythms Framework
  • Define team type and purpose
  • Establish relationships and share growth areas
  • Set group norms
  • Delineate roles and decision making process(es)
  • Set shared goals for the quarter

Perform Rhythm (weekly)

Target: execute working agreements


  • Track performance indicators and confidence around goal completion
  • Coordinate actions and make decisions needed to make progress towards goals
  • Proactively maintain relationships and address detractors

Reform Rhythm (Monthly)

Target: refine/course-correct working agreements


  • Ratify big decisions (directional, rather that ones supporting coordination)
  • Gauge current team health and leverage low-hanging fruit opportunities
  • Create structured to invest in relationship building

Transform Rhythm (Quarterly)

Target: reflect on working agreements and overhaul / redesign if needed


  • Grade goals and set new ones
  • Identify foundational team health issues and map to explicit (new) goals
  • Provide team members with developmental feedback
Team Rhythms

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