The Power of Social Identity
in Team Transformation
Unlocking the Essence of Social Identity Theory
At our core, we translate academic research into actionable insights that empower teams to make enduring improvements in performance. Exceptional teams distinguish themselves through distinct behaviours, thoughts, and emotions compared to ordinary teams. Our extensive seven-year research partnership with the University of Sussex has unveiled the pivotal concept of social identification – a psychological shift where team members internalise the team’s shared identity as an integral part of their own sense of self.
Social identification, a powerful phenomenon, profoundly influences individual behaviour in group settings. Those who have been part of great teams will vividly recall the incredible sense of belonging and unity it offers; an unforgettable experience.
Numerous research studies affirm that teams with robust shared identities:
- Achieve significantly better performance outcomes.
- Demonstrate heightened resilience.
- Foster innovation more frequently and effectively.
- Enhance member well-being and job satisfaction.
- Mitigate stress levels.
- Experience diminished internal conflicts, office politics, and self-centredness.
- Exhibit lower rates of absenteeism and turnover intentions.
The evidence is both compelling and conclusive. Nevertheless, teams are born with this shared identity, and most organisational teams miss out on these proven benefits. This is where we step in to help you transform.
The Power of Science
Our philosophy is based on a steadfast belief in the power of science. We’re not content with mere opinions; our recommendations are rooted in robust evidence and sound scientific principles. To truly understand what drives individuals to form profound connections with a team, to relentlessly pursue success, overcome obstacles, make personal sacrifices, and develop an unwavering love for their team, we embarked on a journey back to the fundamentals.
We have been fortunate to collaborate with Professor Rupert Brown, a world-renowned authority in group psychology, to undertake a rigorous research program under his expert guidance. Our research explored the application of the Social Identity Approach, a leading theory in group behaviour psychology, to teams.
Published in esteemed academic journals, our research has solidified the notion that cultivating a shared identity and reaping the ensuing benefits can be achieved systematically, through a transparent and well-defined process we call TRIBE.
Our collaboration with the University of Sussex
In partnership with Sussex University, we embarked on an extensive research journey, delving into the intricacies of team dynamics. Our longitudinal study of 528 individuals, encompassing 52 teams, both amateur and elite, across 14 different sports, spanning three countries. Our choice to focus on sports was deliberate because it offers quantifiable and unequivocal performance metrics.
Study One: Team Identity and Performance
Our first study unveiled a compelling causation — teams with stronger identities exhibit superior performance. In fact, the top 20% of teams with the most robust identities surpassed the bottom 20% with the weakest identities by an astonishing 53%. What’s even more noteworthy, the longitudinal design of our research affirmed that team identity serves as the precursor, predicting enhanced performance, and not the other way around. Download
Study Two: Uncovering the Motivation Behind Team Identification
Our research in the second study unearthed five key beliefs that accounted for a remarkable 88.6% variation in the strength of identity across teams. This breakthrough insight offers leaders a concrete roadmap for creating the ideal conditions that foster identification and propel teams toward peak performance. Download
Identity Leadership: Forging great teams
Professors Alex Haslam and Stephen Reicher are distinguished social psychology researchers, particularly in the arena of identity leadership. Their ground-breaking research has illuminated an important truth: effective leadership transcends individual attributes. Instead, it finds its roots in the shared social identity that binds leaders and followers together.
Their studies have underscored that leaders wield their greatest influence when they nurture and harness this shared sense of “us.” This ability to emphasise “we” over “me” allows leaders to articulate a compelling vision, foster a profound sense of belonging, and rally collective effort. As Alex elaborates in this video, a focus on “we” cultivates stronger alignment, builds trust, and elevates team performance.
We use these insights to equip leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to become more influential and effective with their teams.