The term dreamteam comes from the US-basketball team at the Olympics of 1992. For the first time the top professionals of the American competition, the NBA, were allowed and willing to play at the Olympics. It happened to be a team of the best basketball players ever. But why are they still remembered as the dreamteam? Ovr the years we have seen so many great teams in all sports, but still this team will be the real dreamteam. So it is not just about the quality of the players. Something special happened over there that created the magic. The coach ordered the team to assemble before the hotel at 10.00 am to set off for the last training. But the top star, the legend, Michael Jordan, was late. The bus left and Jordan was disciplinary punished. For the camera’s he only said 4 words; “I got the Message”, and he kept repeating them. So what message was it? It referred to the essentials of a creating the feeling of alignment and involvement:

1. Common and inspiring objectives. All team members must have the same direction so all energy is bundled to reach the goals. If people are inspired they have the drive to give the best to reach them.2. Values and beliefs. If a person has the feeling that actions in the team or of team members are not in line with his or her values and/or beliefs there will be a serious issue and it will kill cooperation.

3. Leadership and culture. The style of leadership is reflected in the culture of the team. This will determine how people work together and are willing to really go for it!

4. Personality. In a team there must be respect for the differences in character and behaviour. Complementary instead of confronting.

5. Trust. Trust among team members is the basis for cooperation. If there is trust people are willing to be open and discuss even difficult subjects. There are no hidden agendas and no political manipulation.

6. Conflicts. In high performing teams people are open for conflicts, they even seek for conflicts. In this way all feelings and arguments are on the table. But the conflicts will not be personal, there should always be respect to the others.


Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate out attitudes or actions. They help us to determine what is important to us. Values in a narrow sense is that which is good, desirable, or worthwhile. This means it is very important to understand your personal values and also to define core values for our team. If team members have different values, it might lead to the conflicts and also different attitudes in reaching the common goals set by the team.
Start with yourself and define your personal values. Find out what is important to you by taking a Personal Values Assessment of Richard Barrett.


Of course the dreamteam in Barcelona would never have been successful if the talent and skills would not have been sufficient. The team can feel like a real team, fully aligned and committed, but it also must work efficient and effective. This requires the following aspects:
1. Roles and talents. Do we have all the talents in the team that we need? Are the roles clearly defined and do we have the right people on board (and at the right place).
2. Priorities. Do we keep focus? Are we working on the subjects we should be working on?
3. Procedures and working methods. Does everybody know how and when to do it. Do we have sufficient checks and balances?
4. Evaluations. Do we measure our performance and act accordingly?
5. Collaboration. How do we work together? Are we maximising our performance by good cooperation.
6. Communication. Is our communication clear, open, efficient and above all effective? How are our meetings organised, how does the verbal and digital communication work?


We not only want top performance of our team now, but also in the future. To achieve this we have to work on it. We must make sure that both the individuals and the team as a group will be able to perform in the future, but also that they are able to manage their energy and work-life balance in reaching that goal. Therefore we have six more aspects to look after:
1. Development plans. We will make Personal Development Plans (PDP’s) and Team Development Plans (TDP’s). Based on serious analyses we will state clear SMART-defined goals and the path to reach them.
2. Innovation. Without innovation we will not keep up with the pace of developments. This is about innovation on technique (IT and machinery), working methods, people, etc.. But there must be a healthy balance, too much innovation will also be killing as it will be at the cost of the current business.
3. Change management. Are we able to overcome the resistance to changes? If we cannot do this change will fail and therefore we will fail to reach our objectives.
4. Energy management and policy. Energy in terms of people vitality is key to performance. Is the company as a whole and the team in particular able to maintain a good balance for the people to keep up their energy and level of performance?
5. Sleep, nutrition and exercise. As these are the three main resources for energy people need knowledge about them and it should be possible for all to maximize performance by applying this knowledge.
6. Stress and brain. If there is too much stress the brain will not have its full performance. So stress reduction is key in creating a sustainable dreamteam.


VITALITY. Much of the available knowledge about vitality is not up-to-date or is limited to physical behaviour. In recent years, however, many different disciplines have conducted scientific research into the effects of stress on health and functioning. This also provides a direct link to the impact of stress on health and functioning in a team. After all, a team member who does not feel optimal leaves a mark on the team dynamics. The team is only as strong as its weakest link.

Lecturer: Gea van Klompenburg, lecturer at Netherlands Business Academy 

STRESS. This short video presents the mechanism of three kinds of stress and the brain's working in stressful periods. Cognition is suppressed during the survival process as the priority is "responding" rather than "thinking". This video explains the effect of stress on the health and behaviour of the team members. The video also contains an exercise to explore one's stress list to become more aware of one's stress response.

Lecturer: Marjon Kuipers, lecturer at Netherlands Business Academy


Download leaflet about Ability to cooperate in team HERE.