Molly Graham

When I was managing a team I didn’t have tons of expertise in […] I first started with: Do people’s roles make sense? Do they know how they fit in? How they align to the business? Then the second piece is, do they know what’s expected of them? Do they know what success looks like? 80% of the time when I go into a team … [ Read more ]

Darren Lee, Mike Pino, Ann Johnston

Many conventional teams are inductive, starting with a theory and looking for data that applies; others are deductive, trying to form hypotheses only after all known data is gathered and analyzed. Abductive reasoning, by contrast, is an iterative process. You start with the data you have and test it, drawing a preliminary hypothesis and continuing to adjust the concept over time. The types of problems … [ Read more ]

Bob Moore

Make your remote team members first-class citizens. If a benefit, perk or experience is created for your in-office team members, find a way to create parity for those who aren’t in person. That means mailing items given to your in-office team to remote workers — or if you cover lunch for your in-office team, send your remote team a gift card or stipend for food … [ Read more ]

Benton MacKaye

My own doctrine of organization is that any body of people coming together for a purpose (whatever it may be) should consist of persons wholly wedded to said purpose and should consist of nobody else. If the purpose be Cannibalism (preference for Ham a la Capitalism) then nobody but a Cannibal should be admitted. There should be plenty of discussion and disagreement as to how … [ Read more ]

7 Strategies for Better Group Decision-Making

There are upsides and downsides to making decisions in a group. The main risks include falling into groupthink or other biases that will distort the process and the ultimate outcome. But bringing more minds together to solve a problem has its advantages. To make use of those upsides and increase the chances your team will land on a successful solution, the authors recommend using seven … [ Read more ]

Ron Carucci

For teams to run effectively, the number of layers within a hierarchy and the number of direct reports on a leader’s team must be carefully determined based on two factors: the type of work people are doing and the amount of coordination that work requires. Highly complex or high-risk work […] often requires extensive coordination to execute effectively. Therefore, it makes sense to keep a … [ Read more ]

How Highly Diverse Teams Can Help Untangle Complexity

Top teams work best — and fastest — when they are based on the right criteria and include a highly diverse group of people from all levels across an organization, including outside stakeholders, write David Komlos and David Benjamin in this opinion piece.

Todd Davis

Begin with the end in mind. I start each conversation with that saying. What is the result that we all want? If they don’t agree on that, then we’ve got bigger problems. But usually they will agree with that, it’s just that they have different approaches. If we can start an open, respectful dialogue, you usually can get to a resolution. There’s a great quote … [ Read more ]

Brian Fielkow

Teamwork is supposed to be about the efficient allocation of resources. And it’s no secret that teams can be bureaucratic, frustrating, and costly. So it is the leader’s job to figure out when it’s appropriate to deploy more than one employee to a task. After all, if an assignment can be efficiently completed by an individual, then creating a team to take it on is … [ Read more ]

5 Common Complaints About Meetings and What to Do About Them

We all complain about meetings. We have too many. They’re a waste of time. Nothing gets done. These complaints often have merit, but they are so broad that they’re difficult to argue with and harder to address.

There are specific complaints that can be tackled, however. When I ask people in the workshops I lead what they most want help with, five issues consistently come up. … [ Read more ]

How to Keep a Global Team Engaged

Life on a global team isn’t necessarily equitable. Employees far away from headquarters often have less access to the team leader. As a result, they may have a harder time getting their concerns noticed and attended to. Additionally, more peripheral members of global teams are often forced to speak in a language that’s not their own and communicate in a style that’s not necessarily second … [ Read more ]

This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions

Gil Shklarski, CTO at Flatiron Health, has adapted a framework from his executive coach Marcy Swenson to serve as a tool for his team to quickly and efficiently create alignment around decision-making — and at the same time, foster a level of psychological safety that would take fear, self-consciousness and anxiety out of the process.

How to Lead an Effective Virtual Team

When it comes to brainstorming, project planning and setting goals, SHRM research suggests that virtual teams can be more effective than in-person teams. Virtual teams, however, are still considered inferior in some key areas. Traditional teams, for example, receive higher marks when it comes to developing trust, maintaining morale, monitoring performance and managing conflict. Furthermore, as the SHRM survey illustrated, virtual managers have a harder … [ Read more ]

How Performance Affects Status in Task Groups

UCLA Anderson Professor Corinne Bendersky discusses perceptions of status in task groups and how that evolves over time.

Ken Favaro, Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie

Leaders also have to understand that group decision making falls into two distinct steps, which require different approaches. In the first step — identifying solutions — divergence is necessary. The group has to be encouraged to explore boundaries, search broadly, and expand its thinking in order to find the best options for the problem at hand. But the second step, in which the group selects … [ Read more ]

Randall S. Peterson

Narcissists can be disastrous for groups and organizations alike, because they typically want complete transformation even when the system is not broken. But when those narcissists are communal, it can temper much of the downside of narcissism. Instead of avoiding narcissists, organizations may be better served in selecting the right type of narcissist. Our research suggests that finding communal narcissists could bring the best of … [ Read more ]

Is Your Team Coordinating Too Much, or Not Enough?

Effective teams don’t just happen — you design them. And two of the most important elements of that design are a) the degree to which team members are interdependent — where they need to rely on each other to accomplish the team task, and b) how you’ll actually coordinate that interdependence.

Use Social Influences to Be a Better Manager

A new book shows how you can create a better team by recognizing people’s needs to stand out, fit in, and shape their identities.

Gary Klein

What concerns me is the tendency to marginalize people who disagree with you at meetings. There’s too much intolerance for challenge. As a leader, you can say the right things — for instance, everybody should share their opinions. But people are too smart to do that, because it’s risky. So when people raise an idea that doesn’t make sense to you as a leader, rather than ask … [ Read more ]