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Who the Team Diagnostic for Start-ups (TDFS) is for

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Startup leadership teams

Leading a startup is hard work. You need to ensure that your leadership team is aligned, committed, and motivated to achieve your business ambition. The TDFS helps you pinpoint where risks exist in your team.

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Startup investors

As an investor you believe in the importance of investing in winning teams. The TDFS will give you insights into which teams in your portfolio may be at risk of underperforming and need extra support.

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Startup coaches

As a TDFS certified coach to a startup or scale up leadership team you want to add value with impact quickly and effectively. The TDFS provides you with a quick analysis of where you can best support the team.

Accelerate your start-up success

The TDFS process

For startup leadership
For Startup Leadership teams
Step 1: Purchase the Survey & Send the Survey to Your Team
Step 2: Schedule & Attend Live Online Feedback Session
Step 3: Take Action to Accelerate Your Team
For startup investors
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Option A: To assess a single team follow the same procedure as for the Startup Leadership Teams
Option B: To assess multiple teams schedule a call with us to discuss how we can streamline the process

For startup coaches
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Step 1: If I’m not 6 Team Conditions certified (Level 1+2) click here
Step 2: Complete the 60-90 minutes orientation course on coaching with the TDFS. 
Step 3: Start using the TDFS with your teams

Did you know?


...of startups fail due to team issues.


...of leadership teams are ineffective.


...of VCs report that the team was the most important factor in a startup’s success.

Case studies

Learn how other startup teams, and their investors, benefited from the Team Diagnostic for Startups.

What our clients say

Startup leadership teams must continually redefine their roles and ways of working together. Using the TDFS can generate honest and important conversations about what’s functioning well and what needs to change. I’ve seen both cofounders and larger teams quickly develop greater alignment, enthusiasm, and even a sense of relief, as they target issues that had previously seemed too confusing or challenging to address.

Jana Basili, MCC
Founder and CEO, Learning with Experience LLC

The TDFS project gave us space and time to get out of everyday ops and really think through how we were working as a team. We gained vital team insights, backed up by the data and facts. We now understand many aspects that are essential for our growth and success as a team, some of which we had previously ignored. The process enabled us to see where we were already performing well and gain ideas and clarity in specific areas we could dig into together to improve our effectiveness in how we perform as a team in the midst of growing our business. I'm now more committed to making our team the best we can be!

Tallyfy Amit Kothari
Founder & CEO,


General FAQs

What is the TDFS?

The Team Diagnostic for Startups is the only researched team assessment specifically developed for Startups and scaleups. It focuses on the 6 key success factors required in the design of a startup or scale up leadership team, which together can account for up to 80% of a team's effectiveness and impact.

How was the TDFS developed?

The 6 Success factors were identified by bringing together decades of research into high performing teams, and the unique requirements of startups. We found that if startup teams continued to focus on these 6 factors, it would give their team a greater chance of becoming and remaining a high performing team.

What is unique about the TDFS?

The TDFS is the only assessment that has been designed to address the specific factors that need to be in place to ensure you have an effective team that can in turn lead a growing business. Most other assessments of team design do not take into account the unique challenges that startup teams face. Or, they focus on personality and skill mix. These are important, however will not address the challenges a badly designed team will experience.

What do you mean by team design? Is this the same as team building?

Team design is about thoughtfully ensuring you have aligned the right people to do the right work using practices and team strategies that respond to the changing pressures placed on the startup team. It goes deeper than traditional team building and has greater impact.

How will the TDFS help a team improve business results?

We cannot promise you that by completing the TDFS, your business will be a success. What we can offer a belief and experience that if you focus on how you work together as a leadership team, you create the conditions to lead a successful business.

What will we receive if we complete the TDFS?

Each team receives their own TDFS report which includes a collection of team improvement suggestions based on your team results. Your results are also shared with you through a 45 - 60 minute coaching call with an experienced TDFS coach.

Do you assess whether a leadership team has the right roles, skills and competences?

No. The skills and competence you need on your leadership team will differ depending on your product or service offering, business context and strategy. The TDFS will support you once you have identified the right people for your leadership team.

How big does a team need to be to complete the TDFS?

The minimum size leadership team that would benefit from the TDFS is 3.

Why does the TDFS need to be debriefed by a facilitator / coach?

Having a trained coach debrief or facilitate your results ensures that you have both a deep understanding of how effective your team is, as well as develop an action plan to improve your team’s performance. A coach will help you ensure that completing the TDFS delivers tangible benefits to your team and business performance.

This feedback process, although an extra step, adds real value to your TDFS experience. This is not only our view, but also feedback from the teams who have already gone through the TDFS. 

FAQs for startup teams

How long do we need to have been working together before completing the TDFS?

Ideally, your team should have spent three months working together. This is long enough to start developing team norms and practices that are assessed in the TDFS.

 A team that is just starting out can benefit from you using the TDFS canvas. This is freely available and provides a number of thought starters as you build your team and business.

When will I receive my team’s report?

After each member of your team has completed the TDFS, we will arrange for a certified coach to arrange a call with you and your team to debrief the results. They will then arrange to provide you with your report. The debrief is a critical, and many so most valuable aspect of the TDFS process.

Why do we need to have a facilitated debrief?

Having a trained coach debrief or facilitate your results ensures that you have both a deep understanding of how effective your team is as well as develop an action plan to improve your team’s performance. A coach will help you ensure that completing the TDFS delivers tangible benefits to your team and business performance.

This feedback process, although an extra step, adds real value to your TDFS experience. This is not only our view, but also feedback from the teams who have already gone through the TDFS.

How much does the TDFS cost per team?

The TDFS costs USD $995 per team. It does not matter how big your team is.

We are already working with a coach. Can you just send them our results?

It is important that the coach that debrief’s you has a thorough understanding of the 6 Success Factors and the underlying 6 Team Conditions framework. That is why we will match you with a certified coach. We would be more than happy to explore certification with your existing coach.

Does everyone need to attend the TDFS debrief

It is better if all members of the leadership team attend the debrief. This will allow for a sharing of perspectives and developing agreements going forward.

FAQs for startup investors

As an investor, can I use the TDFS for pre investment due diligence?

Short answer is no. The TDFS process is not designed as a due diligence tool. The reason is that teams may answer the assessment so that they “look good”. We have an alternative and more comprehensive approach, the Team Diagnostic for Investors which can be used for due diligence.

We also do not make any recommendations whether you should invest in a team or not.

Is the TDFS useful for early stage incubators?

Our experience has been that this could be too early in the life of the start up. We have found that early stage incubators, or those teams involved in an accelerator programme, are still working through the development of their idea and whether it is a viable business. 

Even at such an early stage, founders will benefit from using the TDFS canvas.

Is there an opportunity to have multiple teams go through the TDFS?

Yes. We can further work with you to arrange either individual team debriefs, a session with the team leaders or a blend.

Do you offer a price discount for multiple teams?

Yes we do. Get in contact with us and we can explore the various options with you.

FAQs for startup coaches

As a coach, how can I access the TDFS?

If you are already a certified 6 Team Conditions practitioner, you need to complete a bridging learning module. After that we will add the TDFS to your 6 Team Conditions account. 

If you are not already 6 Team Conditions certified, you can do that today, online here.

When would I use the TDFS rather than TDS?

The TDFS is designed for startup and scale-ups. If an enterprise has been around for a few years, or there are now multiple layers to the organization, and the size of the team has grown beyond around five, it may be more appropriate to use the TDS. If you are unsure, get in touch and we can explore the options for the team you are supporting.


What are the 6 success factors?

Grounded in the best research on team effectiveness the TDFS highlights 6 success factors that accelerate start-up teams.

Team Diagnostic for Startups Model
  • 6-sucess-factors-1 1 TEAM PURPOSE

    The Team Purpose spells out the team's unique contribution in the near term. It is distinct from the company's overall purpose. It should be clear, challenging and consequential.

  • 6-sucess-factors-2 1 INTERDEPENDENCE

    The team's work required a level of interdependence that transcends individual responsibility. The team has clear and bounded membership and is stable enough to accomplish meaningful work in the near term.

  • Team Diagnostic for Startups Model
  • 6-sucess-factors-1 1 Composition

    The team’s composition has sufficient skill, and diversity of perspectives to carry out the team’s purpose.

  • 6-sucess-factors-4 1 WORK PRACTICES

    The team has thoughtfully crafted guidelines for working together. These guidelines help the team identify critical tasks, accelerate problem solving and decisions making, foster collaboration and reflection.

  • 6-sucess-factors-5 1 REWARDS

    Agreed rewards are shared fairly across the team. Team members have sufficient skin in the game and derive additional benefits from intangible rewards.

  • 6-sucess-factors-6 1 COACHABILITY

    The team wants and looks for honest feedback about their performance. They are able to learn from experience and adjust accordingly. Humility and openness are observable in the team's functioning.

Download a sample report

Enter your contact details and you can download a sample TDFS report.

Download a Sample Report

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