What does a world-class team look like?

May 25, 2021

What could your organisation learn from these teams?

After more than a decade of practical research into how perfect teams are formed, our team have come across a number, of world-class ones. Not as many as we would like though.

During that time, we have worked with more than 2,000 people from more than 250 organisations across multiple sectors.

In our previous article, we looked at the importance of character trumping personality in a perfect team.

In this piece we drill down further into the composition of that team.


A couple of months ago, we shared a video highlighting the differences between two teams, and asked our founder’s connections to comment on which team they  felt was best positioned right now, as the world starts to re-open after the pandemic.

Viewing the team maps is important, because they highlight the composition of each of the teams – the characters that exist within them, along with the gaps that need filling. To view the video and share your thoughts, please click here.


With an understanding of the team maps outlined above, we will now look at two very different accounting firms and highlight the differences between them, so that you can identify what your team could learn from each.


This first map looks at the team of partners at one of the ‘big four’ accounting firms. We can see that the team is evenly balanced, with a mix of blue, green and red characters.

The partners at this firm have a keen focus on clients, and on creating and building relationships, as well as having a drive for growth.

This is reflected in the team map when we look at the right side. The red characters provide the focus on relationships and the green characters provide the drive for growth. Importantly, the group is also able to implement and deliver for clients. The blue characters provide this technical ability.

The second map looks at the talent pool that exists below the team of partners.

This team is focused on delivering for the clients that the partners have created and built relationships with. They have the technical ability, which is show by the dominance of the blue characters on the left side of the map.

Despite the talent pool being heavily dominated by the technical (blue) characters though, this map shows that there is talent waiting in the wings who will have the client and relationship focus, and the drive for growth- the red and green characters.

In other words, this talent pool shows the firms ‘reserve bench’- the next generation of partners and leaders.

Together, the team of partners and the talent pool provide one of the best examples of a perfect team we have seen.


This third map looks at the overall team at a city accountancy firm. We can see that the firm is dominated by blue characters.

In practice, the team is heavily focused on the technical, accountancy work, and delivering for the clients.

There is one sole red character at the firm, and he commented that he had often felt like a lone voice speaking about the importance of creating and building new relationships to grow the firm.

In fact, one of the comments he made during our follow up workshop, where we planned their best way forward, was that his partners now understood why he was so different.

Importantly, when the team of partners saw the map and identified that lone team member, the conversation immediately focused on how they could plug the gaps and bring more green and red characters on board to drive growth.


For both of these businesses, the next steps would be to use the Perfect Teams indicators as part of their recruitment process- to screen candidates and ensure they onboard the right people going forward.

Looking at the two firms individually, you can see that while the ‘big four’ firm has a balance of technical ability, ambition for growth and a focus on clients, the city firm is lacking the final two of those traits.

The ‘big four’ firm also has a talent pool of future partners, alongside the ability to deliver for clients. In short, this team is world-class.

How does your team match up, and which of these two teams is most similar to yours?

What strengths exist within your teams, and how do you plug any gaps that exist?

To uncover the hidden talents in your business, and find out how we could help your organisation build the perfect team, please sign up to our next free workshop by clicking here.

Article by:

Neil Tuson

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