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 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 ]

To Make a Team More Effective, Find Their Commonalities

Teams, not individuals, are the future of work. As organizations mobilize to solve increasingly complex problems at an ever faster pace, cooperation and trust between employees has become paramount. But how do you move teammates from collegial behavior to true collaboration? By building their empathy and compassion.

How to Accelerate Learning on Your Team

As Peter Senge wrote in The Fifth Discipline (Doubleday Business, 1990), a learning organization is one in which “people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire.” When we view learning in this broader sense, we build feedback right into the system as an integral part of the work. If you want to accelerate learning on your team, first engage them in a … [ Read more ]

Your People’s Brains Need Face Time

A look at the value of in-person meetings for dispersed teams.

30+ Tips for Effective Team Building

Getting a team to work efficiently requires focus on team building. But what are the best tricks for getting a team to bond and succeed? We’ll provide you over thirty science-backed tips for making the most of your team.

Brian Welle

What we were expecting to find is that we would have a long list of individual characteristics that would help us determine the composition of an effective team.

You would want a 10-year mix. You want to make sure you have gender diversity, you want extroverts, you want introverts, you want highly conscientious people — you want that whole mix. If we could quantify that mix, … [ Read more ]

Julie Zhuo

Teams that fall in love with a problem have more successful outcomes than teams that fall in love with particular solutions. This is because knowing that a problem is worth solving continues to be motivating even when a team doesn’t come across the right solution on the first, second, or Nth try.

Julie Zhuo

How you measure success is critical to the long-term results of your team because it’s the thing that people rally around. Make sure to give this exercise the proper time and attention (more, even, than you would give to thinking about “how should we do this?”).

The Serious Fun of Shared Experiences at Work

Shared experiences are a powerful tool for managers to build high-performing teams. They help to shape values, norms, and behaviors that allow people to get work done more efficiently and effectively.

The Acceleration Factor

During the past six years, we have studied the behavior and performance of more than 3,000 teams across a range of organizations, functions, and geographies. Our data includes responses from the four groups associated with teams: the team leader, the team’s members, the line manager of the leader, and the team’s external stakeholders. Specifically, we surveyed them on 16 factors that together helped us determine … [ Read more ]

Adam Grant

A lot of people attribute groupthink to cohesion. They think that if we’re too close, if we trust each other too much […] then we’re not going to challenge each other. That turns out to be false. Cohesive groups often make the best decisions. People frequently when they trust each other are willing to challenge each other and say, “I know this person is not … [ Read more ]

3 Situations Where Cross-Cultural Communication Breaks Down

The strength of cross-cultural teams is their diversity of experience, perspective, and insight. But to capture those riches, colleagues must commit to open communication; they must dare to share. Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. In the 25 years we’ve spent researching global work groups, we’ve found that challenges typically arise in three areas.

Effective People Think Simply

Stanford Graduate School of Business PhD alum Kathleen Eisenhardt, a professor at Stanford University’s School of Engineering, studied how product development teams burdened by a complicated set of rules frequently derail while teams with no rules at all never even get started.

Erin Meyer

The advantage to having people from all over the world on a team is that you may find that you have more innovation and creativity, and that you’re closer to your local markets. The disadvantage is that multinational teamwork is usually a lot less efficient than monocultural teamwork. When we’re all from the same culture, we don’t have to talk about how we work together. … [ Read more ]