17, Cox´s Ground- OX2 6PX OXFORD -
HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAMS
Cooplexity Open Program
COOPLEXITY Institute 2 / 8
1. -SESSION DESCRIPTION
3. -CONTENT OF THE SESSION
5. -RECOMMENDED READINGS
6. -C.V. TEACHER
COOPLEXITY Institute 3 / 8
Duration: 10 weeks with 2 days of attended experiential learning
Teachers: Ricardo Zamora and Edward Gonsalves
Organizations today have to manage environments of crisis, uncertainty and constant changes. The future
becomes blurred, less predictable and insecure. In this complex reality everything is interconnected and
interdependent. As a result there are no simple solutions, strategic pathways are neither safe nor obvious;
traditional corporate recipes for success do not work. Routes to success cease to be direct, linear, tangible
and clearly visible; they are no longer explicit and tend to be tacit.
Companies must be flexible, responsive, agile and quick in order to survive and thrive. Changes must be
perceived and anticipated because when a need becomes tangible, it may be too late! Perceptive
cognizance, an attention to weak signals and a high state of vigilance are executive capacities that ensure
rapid responses and increase likelihoods of success.
As a consequence, interdependency is a critical influence in the formula to obtain results. From this
perspective success passes necessarily through team processes rather than the simple aggregation of
individual orientations. We need more skilled teams with a wider global vision, able to understand
relations and nuances in order to discriminate.
Collaboration as a process of saving resources, taking advantage of opportunities and Improving
coordination becomes a key competence to develop.
The working program, based on the Cooplexity model of collaboration (cooperation in complexity),
intends to create a framework of knowledge within which you might be better manage such uncertainty
and change. It is structured along 10 weeks of activity that begins with an attended, 2-day, experiential
seminar. In those 2 days the different areas of analysis are introduced. Thereafter activities will
concentrate on developing tasks with a deeper level of analysis and application.
The three key areas to develop in an organization's capital are Entrepreneurship (innovation, opportunity,
creativity, proactivity, experimentation and learning), Teamwork (awareness of interdependence,
cohesion, collaboration, and team consciousness) and Distributed Leadership (self-coordination and
dispersed decision-making as a process of emergence of natural and spontaneous interposed leaders).
COOPLEXITY Institute 4 / 8
The three key areas to develop of the organization's capital are
Entrepreneurship. Innovation, opportunity, creativity, proactivity, experimentation and learning.
Teamwork. Awareness of interdependence, cohesion, collaboration, team consciousness.
Distributed Leadership. Self-coordination and dispersed decision-making as a process of
emergence of natural and spontaneous interposed leaders.
The objective of High Performance Teams program is to develop the following organizational
capacities and competences:
Distributed leadership: To appreciate and act upon recognition of the significant differences
between traditional leadership paradigms, based on the individual and the new model of
distributed leadership which is based on the executive team function.
High Performance Teams: To build autonomous and self-driven teams that develop initiatives, to
make risk-based decisions and that can demonstrate flexibility and diversity in action.
Change management: To identifying the benefits of decision-making based on teams in situations
of complexity, interrelationships and constant change.
Decision Making: To identify the guidelines needed to take actions through uncertainty and to
reconcile anxieties arising from such decisions.
Synergy: To promoting the optimal distribution of resources through shared use.
COOPLEXITY Institute 5 / 8
CONTENT OF THE SESSION
Introduction to High-Performance Cultures
How technology and globalization influence the executive decision
The risk of treating complex decisions as simple. Long term and systemic implications
More than the sum of the parts- a complementary approach to executive teams
The importance of a High Performance Environment
The impossibility of direct intervention in the High Performance Environments
An Entrepreneurial Team Learning Perspective- how to build a flexible and adaptive organization
Communication as the product outcome of an interactive exchange process rather than a simple
information dissemination process
The new field of Distributed Leadership for today’s high performing executives
A fundamental dichotomy in leadership styles: the Entrepreneur versus the Manager
The risks of dysfunctional leadership profiles: individualism, simplification, groupthink and
How does leadership behavior encourage or discourage team performance
Measuring risky leadership behaviors through the TEAM 12 test
Teamwork is an emerging pattern of decentralized and spontaneous self-coordination
Promoting team consciousness
Excessive cohesion is a disadvantage. Teamwork is not an end in itself
The group dynamics approach maximizes results through collaboration
High Performance Organization
My weakness is the result of my politics. How am I blind to it?
An organization that learns from experience. The importance of failure, errors and mistakes
Silver bullets in designing for the “it depends” conundrum. Learning to discriminate
The personal perspective
How to benefit from the anxiety produced by uncertainty
We are prisoners of our own mental models
Locus of control or how to take the responsibility for our decisions
The Cooplexity model
The knowledge level: Pro-activity oriented to results and relations
The teambuilding level: group integration and trust generation
The team working level: equal relationship and criterion of action
COOPLEXITY Institute 6 / 8
The High Performance Teams course is a blended learning program that combines an experiential learning
program (attended) with distance learning. The attended session is based on “Synergy” a behavioural
simulation that enables participants to transition from a situation of uncertainty to one of complexity. The
first stage of uncertainty relates to conditions of change, crisis, chaos, mergers and takeovers, and can
include the dynamics of growth, new businesses, and corporate restructuring. The second stage of
complexity is related to mature, competitive, globalized, interrelated and interdependent markets.
As the session progresses, both organizational-level and personal-level needs are diagnosed. Initial
competences tend to focus on either exploration, flexibility, the ability to influence, or learning. This is
complemented by a subsequent focus on more relational competences including team dynamics, such as,
motivation, communication, cooperation, shared leadership, delegation and coordination.
Experimentation through Gaming and Simulation is a highly effective, attractive, motivating and proven
learning methodology, with constant changes of rhythm, which encourages constructive interactions and
sustainable, participant ownership. Our program designs reflect our belief in the idea of serious play and
its causal link to executive performance.
After the experiential learning session, a whole period of analysis and application is undertaken by
participants using the learning platform. A number of readings, exercises, tests, videos and external links
are used as the basic content for this part of the program. Web 2.0 learning tools, including blogs and
online forums, support and encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences. Social software is also used to
generate a learning community.
COOPLEXITY Institute 7 / 8
Ancona, D., & Bresman, H. (2007, June 26). X-Teams: Distributed Leadership in Action. Harvard
Argyris, C. (1991, Mayo 1). Teaching Smart People How to Learn. Harvard Business Review.
Snowden, D. J., & Boone, M. E. (2007, November 1). A Leaders’s Framework for Decision Making.
Harvard Business Review.
Zamora Enciso, R. (2011). Cooplexity: A model of collaboration in complexity for management in
times of uncertainty and change. Lulu.com.
Cooplexity presents a model of cooperation, collaboration in complexity and it’s the result of over ten
years of research and five of data collection. Rigorously, three levels of acting are presented, its
implications, its key factors and the catalysts that will enable its appearance. The reader will find here
guidelines to facilitate the emergence of collaborative behavior and a series of findings that challenge
traditional concepts of teamwork and leadership as they are understood nowadays
Apart of the pdf and epub formats available as a content of the course there is also the possibility to by a
hard copy at http://stores.lulu.com/RicardoZamora
Busenitz, L. W., & Barney, J. B. (1997). Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large
organizations: Biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making. Journal of Business Venturing,
Carron, A. V., & Brawley, L. R. (2000). Cohesion: Conceptual and Measurement Issues. Small
Group Research, 31(1), 89-106.
Crant, J. M. (2000). Proactive Behavior in Organizations. Journal of Management, 26(3), 435-462.
Day, D., Gronn, P., & Salas, E. (2004). Leadership capacity in teams. The Leadership Quarterly,
Gronn, P. (2002). Distributed leadership as a unit of analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 423-
Hosmer, L. T. (1995). Trust: The Connecting Link between Organizational Theory and Philosophical
Ethics. The Academy of Management Review, 20, 379-403.
Mathieu, J., Maynard, M. T., Rapp, T., & Gilson, L. (2008). Team Effectiveness 1997-2007: A
Review of Recent Advancements and a Glimpse into the Future. Journal of Management, 34(3),
During the course some extra readings could be recommended. They are not compulsory but highly
connected with specific issues on which it is interesting to deeper.
COOPLEXITY Institute 8 / 8
Ricardo Zamora is Bachelor of Science in Business and a Masters in Business Management from ESADE
(Top 10 European and International Business Schools).
He is founder of the Cooplexity Institute of Oxford and Managing Director of Training Games, an executive
training consultancy that specialises in conceiving and developing unique training solutions through games
He is associate professor at the Department of Business Policy at ESADE Business School since year 2000.
Currently collaborating at the Executive MBA and with some Executive Education programs.
Zamora has specialized in the development of systemic competences and applies this program in large
corporations with complex interrelationships. He has taught seminars in countries such as Argentina,
China, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK and USA.
Large and multinational companies such as Arbora & Ausonia (Procter & Gamble), Grupo Santander,
Deutsche Bank, Lafarge, Heineken, Red Eléctrica, Nestlé, Dannon, BBVA, BDF-Beiersdorf, HP, Akzo Nobel,
Unilever, BASF or Solvay are some of Zamora’s customers.
He is Member of the ESADE's Leadership Development Research Centre focused on effective leadership
and emotional and social competencies (Glead).
The graduate dissertation titled “The Teamwork, a Valuable Resource in Complex Environments” was
graded as outstanding Summa Cum Laude.
He is member of NASAGA (North American Simulation and Gaming Association) and the System Dynamics
Edward Gonsalves BSc, M.Sc, M.Ed.
Edward is Pathway Director and Lecturer on the MBA and MA in Entrepreneurship Programs at the
European Business School, London. and at the Barcelona Management Institute.
He is an Affiliate Professor at Toulouse Business School , Barcelona Campus
Edward is Founding member of the Barcelona Entrepreneurship City Group.
He holds a number of directorships, advises, consults and publishes in the area of Strategic and
Entrepreneurial Learning. His current research focuses on Organizational Learning and the Role of Play in
Corporate Learning and Human Capital Management.
Edward is the learning facilitator on the Park Royal Partnership 'Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program' for
Small & Medium Size enterprises and he is a lead adviser to the GBP15m London Carnival Village capital
He has publications include C.W.J.A., Gonsalves, E. (2008). Entrepreneurial Resource, Organizational
Learning and Strategy-Making: Linking Theory and Empirical Design.