This paper presents a study of two samples of new venture top management teams from the inc. 500. The research poses that shared strategic cognition is the outcome of group processes that occur during the development of strategy. Shared cognition in top management teams (TMTs) is the extent to which those mental models about strategy are shared. A theoretical frame is developed that links shared strategic cognition to group process and new venture performance. The results indicate that the group processes leading to the development of shared strategic cognition are more important than the outcome of shared strategic cognition in terms of predicting organizational performance. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.