DS Performance Group - Dramatic and Sustainable Performance - Individuals, Teams, and Organizations
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Maximizing Team Performance

Expedite the development of new teams or increase the performance of existing teams with our highly participative team building process. With over 25 years of experience, exceptional talent, and innovative tools, we consistently deliver dramatic and sustainable increases in team performance.

While we work with a wide range of teams, we specialize in:

  • New Product Development Teams
  • Business Development Teams
  • Major Project Teams
  • Executive Teams

These teams are often critical to organizational success and justify the investment needed to achieve high performance.

An Investment Model

There is often extreme pressure on teams from both management and team members to achieve results quickly. Team members are busy with their full time job and do not want to spend long hours in unproductive meetings that do not achieve results. Management establishes teams to do something, and they just want the team to get going on doing it!

But teams are a dynamic learning process that require a major investment of time and energy before they can achieve dramatic results. In the Orienting and Organizing Stages a team must make an investment in their people and their processes to establish trust, open up communications and achieve consensus on their mission, goals and strategies. Teams that rush through these stages will experience high levels of conflict, inefficiencies, false starts and minimal results before they disintegrate under the pressure.

New product, business and major project teams that skip these investment stages typically crash at about six months. The lack of up front agreement results in team members charging off in different directions — each thinking they are right and the others are just non-team players. As a result there is a great deal of finger pointing and damage to work relationships. The investment needed to repair a team at this point is far greater than the initial investment that is needed to build the team right the first time. The affect on the business in terms of cost of delay to new products and business strategies can be tremendous.

Why choose us to meet your teambuilding needs?


Doug Peters has conducted over 300 teambuilding sessions for a wide range of teams including executive teams, business teams, new product teams, process improvement teams, quality teams, sales teams, self-directed work teams and major project teams. He has conducted teambuilding sessions in large and small organizations in a wide range of businesses and industries.

Doug was fortunate to enjoy a long-term relationship with 3M Company where he worked in 75 divisions and staff groups to implement teams. This relationship allowed him to follow teams and team structures for up to ten years to track progress and identify best practices. His work implementing New Product Development Action teams in the OH&SP division resulted in a 50% reduction in new product cycle time according to a Harvard Business School study. This success lead to extensive work building new product teams, business development teams and executive teams in 3M divisions.

Doug's understanding of business and organizations makes him credible to participants. His experience allows him to quickly understand his clients business, and the organizational infrastructure that has been created to drive that business. This understanding assures his teambuilding sessions are grounded in the participant's reality and are culturally appropriate for the organization.


Doug Peters's extensive teambuilding experience has allowed him to develop a high level of skill in diagnosing team performance and facilitating teambuilding sessions. His diagnostic abilities assure his teambuilding efforts are focused on those issues that will deliver the greatest increase in team performance. His facilitation skills allow him to assess risks and make decisions in the moment to move a team forward.


Doug's work with teams started in graduate school where he majored in Communications with an emphasis on group process. He developed the Stages of Team Development Model in order to study quality circles while an internal Consultant for Productivity Programs at Control Data. This dynamic model captures team tasks and team processes, and demonstrates how they combine to create team dynamics. He uses this model extensively in his training and to diagnosing the stage of team development for teambuilding sessions.

Doug's extensive experience allowed him to identify 10 key success factors that are predictors of team success. This learning has proven extremely valuable when diagnosing team performance and creating teambuilding interventions.

Doug developed the Team Launch System to expedite the development of new product teams, business teams and major project teams. Tool Book3, published by the Product Development and Management Association, devoted an entire chapter to the Team Launch System.

Teambuilding Process

Our teambuilding process is based on four steps that expedite teams through the Stages of Team Development.

  1. Diagnosis — In this phase we assess the team's stage of development, its performance on ten key team dynamics for high performance teams, and on team chemistry at the personal, interpersonal and group levels of team interaction. Together this creates an accurate snapshot of the teams strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for performance improvement.
  2. Interventions — Our interventions are designed to assure the team has the ability, willingness and opportunity to achieve high performance. We use a wide variety of tools and techniques for addressing identified performance issues including training, simulations, case studies, structure experiences, self-assessment instruments, team chemistry analysis, relationship building activities, communications activities, team problem solving and decision making processes, group discussion, third party consultation and more.
  3. Evaluation — We evaluate each session to measure results and determine next steps. Participants rate the results achieved, the facilitation of the event, the impact of the event on their team, and their own participation in the event.
  4. Rework — Developing high performance teams is a dynamic learning process that is on-going. There are too many variables in the team environment to address them all in a single teambuilding event. Therefore we establish follow-up action plans with the team leader to develop an action plan for continued team development.

The team leader is our “customer” in the teambuilding process, and we work closely with him or her at each step of the process. This reinforces the key role leadership plays in team development and provides the team leader with an in-depth learning experience.

Stages of Team Development

The Stages of Team Development model creates a solid foundation for our teambuilding events. It breaks team tasks into four predictable stages - Orienting, Organizing, Action and Results. The model defines the tasks to be completed at each stage and the process the team will have to use to maximize ownership and commitment among team members.

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The Task and Process dimensions of team development combine to create team dynamics at three levels of interaction — Personal, Interpersonal, and Group dynamics.

The Stages of Team Development Model provides a unique, clear and actionable roadmap for building high performance teams. Participants regularly comment that they have seen many of its aspects before, but they have never seen everything put together is such a clear and actionable fashion!

Key Success Factors

Teams are complex. They typically operate within highly complex organizational and political dynamics and start out in a somewhat chaotic situation due to lack of consensus on team rules, roles, and structure. Teams are intense — motivation and commitment among team members can vary widely, with some not even attending the initial team meetings, and others remaining passive until they are able to get an accurate assessment of the situation.

Our research on teams has identified ten team dynamics that are key success factors in predicting team performance. Any team can have all, none, or some of these variables. This creates over 1200 different combinations of variables that any one team may start with. And these variables are not binary - they are not necessarily just "present" or "absent." This means that within these 1200 combinations, each team can have a different range of performance on each variable. In short — team dynamics are extremely complex.

Our teambuilding interventions assess a team's performance on these ten predictors of team success.

In addition to this internal complexity, each team also faces a different set of external variables that will affect its performance. And these variables will be different for every team, even teams within the same organization. One product team may find, for example, that a given function is uncooperative because it pays a high price for supporting the team. Another team may find that same function highly collaborative because it benefits from that team. Therefore, what the team is doing, and the costs and benefits it creates for others in the organization, will combine to create a different set of circumstances for every team.

Our teambuilding interventions assess the organizational dynamics and roadblocks that are affecting or will affect team performance.