Team Management Systems

MindLife Success is an accredited member of the TMS network and offers customised solutions for your team and organisational needs in leadership development.

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About TMS

Team Management Systems (TMS) was established in 1985 by Drs Charles Margerison and Dick McCann and is recognized as the foremost integrated system of work-based, research-proven assessments and feedback instruments worldwide. The TMS approach focuses on identifying and understanding key work elements that prove to be a reliable and valid focus in explaining why some individuals, teams, and organizations perform, work effectively and achieve their objectives, while others fail.

Towards High-Performance Teams

Rarely do we find a team that is performing so well that it doesn’t need further development. But where do we start? When deciding where to begin in a team development process, it is important to start with a Team Needs Analysis. This identifies those areas of teamwork that are most important and where there is least satisfaction. The High Energy Teams model developed by Margerison and McCann helps us to recognise the eight strategic issues of importance for successful and highly productive teams.

There are many ways to explore these strategic issue, and the use of the Pyramid of Workplace Behaviour is a powerful model to help each member of the team find balance and achieve synergy. The pyramid identifies three levels from which we can give personal feedback on the three most important workplace behaviours – work preference, risk-orientation and values. These are discussed below.

1) Preferences

One of the first most effective team development processes is for a team to map individual team role preferences unto the Team Management Wheel. The wheel brings together the separate work preference measures into eight different key roles. This helps to evaluate team balance and to decide what changes might be required.

A good team is able to give all areas of the wheel sufficient attention and adequate priority. However, even if a team is unbalanced in terms of role preferences, it can become a high-performing one by taking necessary measures. The wheel helps us to see our strengths and limitations and  provides a framework for Linking through people, task and leadership skills. This can be expanded into a full range leadership model that describes the responsibilities everyone in a team has to practice to ensure that relationships are established and developed. This is presented in the Linking Skills Profile wheel below.

2) Risk-orientation

At the middle of the pyramid, we explore the Opportunities-Obstacles Profile (QO2). These concepts help a team to look at problems from a different angle – that of approach to risk. It helps us to answer the question of team balance in terms of risk by measuring five concepts that help determine whether an individual is likely to be risk-averse or risk-accepting.

Knowledge of how people approach risk is important to managing them and maximising their potential. For example, someone who is more attuned towards seeing opportunities might be more happy undertaking entrepreneurial activities, whereas someone who is more risk-averse may make a major contribution in contingency planning or security areas. Applications of the process can also be used to develop a team to be more balanced in its approach to risk.

3) Values

At the foundation of the pyramid are the values. Values are important in team development, as mismatched values between the organisation and individual can be the source of much conflict. For example, how would an individual with a strong personal value of individualism work in a team culture that values collectivism? In order for a team to function at an optimum level and to keep moving towards the same goal, especially through conflict situations, commitment from all members is required and this can only be achieved through an energising and inspirational shared purpose and a common set of values.

The Windows on Work Values process helps a team to identify any potential issues and to resolve these problems. It can be used as a basis for team members to agree an ideal set of value types that will guide team members’ behaviours, through the development of a Team Charter  to help everyone understand what the team is supposed to do, why it is doing it, and how everyone should contribute to the outcomes.


Every team needs ongoing development, no matter what stage it is at. The Team Management Systems models and profiles give a reliable and valid way of measuring and managing team performance. This helps a team move quickly through the stages of storming to the norming, and accelerate its growth to become a high energy and performing team. Success is what every team desires, and with the Team Management Systems, this can soon be a powerful reality.

(This article is written based upon extracts from the Team Management Systems e-book series by Dr. Dick McCann)

MindLife Success is an accredited member of the TMS network and offers customised solutions for your team and organisational needs in leadership development. Contact us for more information today.