This Team is Not a Well-Oiled Machine. And That’s the Point.

What’s wrong with being a “well-oiled machine?” you might ask. “Isn’t that the goal? Smooth-running, friction-free, rolling along”. Here’s the basic problem with that picture: it’s out of date. It applies to a work environment that passed into history at least a generation ago. Only the mindset remains. The structure of work has changed from assembly line to relationship. In an industrial age a mechanical model for getting the work done made sense. The mental […]


5 Things You Can Do To Build A Better Team

Find the compelling mission – and you will find common ground. This is relatively straightforward with a project team and may not be so obvious with, for example, a team of regional directors. And yet, the compelling mission is what teams align around when the going gets tough; it is the commitment that is more important than individual results. What you can do: Work with the team to articulate the team mission. For some teams, […]


How to Create Google’s Perfect Team

You would expect Google to do the search for “what makes great teams?” better than most anyone. These masters of search and analysis were on a quest some years back with that question in mind. Google was motivated by research that shows that software engineers that work together in groups “tend to innovate faster, see mistakes more quickly and find better solutions to problems”. This references a New York Times article by Charles Duhigg, entitled, […]


Team Diagnostic™ Data Analysis

Over the years we have accumulated a vast data base of teams. Of course we are curious to see what we can learn by looking at the results. This lesson provides a sampling of that investigation. This is a rich source of information that can be used in many different ways. We invite you to use the data in marketing materials and presentations. If you quote from this research please remember to give attribution: “Data […]


Solving the Engagement Puzzle with Teams. This works.

With survey after survey, report after report, the same disturbing message gets pinned to the organizational bulletin board: employee engagement is at an all-time low. According to a Gallup survey only 35% of US managers are engaged in their jobs. Another study reports that 69% of employees believe engagement is a problem in their organization. Year after year the results are much the same. The data makes it clear there’s an issue. The good news? […]


Are You a Team? Or a Work Group? Does it Matter?

Imagine a Continuum with “Work Group” on One End and “Team” at the Other With a work group, the group’s mission can be accomplished with each member operating independently. One facilitator / leader at the center of the circle can coordinate the efforts of the group to accomplish results. Except for occasional communication, interaction is not required between group members. Now go to the other end of the continuum for team. In order for the […]

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