What do we mean by "Teamwork"? We often talk about Teamwork as if its a singular thing however in nature there are 4 different types - each of which have a very precise meaning. I call these Solowork, Crowdwork, Groupwork and Teamwork itself. An effective team knows how and when to use each type - an ineffective team only uses one!
I have just purchased John Kotter's new book XLR8 ("Accelerate") which as well as reworking his previous excellent thinking on change introduces two concepts which resonate with my work - The Dual Operating System and The Big Opportunity. Lets briefly look at each of them.
I am delighted to be able to publish a new Bioteams article in the Summer 2014 edition of The Henry Ford Magazine entitled "Teams in Nature". The article summarises the differences between human teams and natures teams in three critical areas: Communications, Leadership and Scalability.
Nature has a way of automatically right-sizing a group to tackle the job at hand. Just like the Russian Matryoshka Dolls (dolls within dolls), small groups link into bigger ones, which in turn link into still bigger ones. In this follow-up article to "Why penguins have no commanding officer" and "Did ants invent the perfect system for communicating via mobile technology?", Ken Thompson writing for NESTA explores what we can learn about teamwork and group/community size from nature's most successful teams.
Fabio Padilla from Brazil has written a very interesting review of Bioteams for his MBA thesis at the Universidade Católica de Brasilia - Universa. Fabio has very kindly allowed me to republish a summary of his conclusions which he has translated from the original Portuguese.
I have been piloting a radically different approach to meetings which I am calling "Egoless Meetings" which addresses three popular unwritten rules about good meeting practices which are unfortunately totally wrong. RULE 1 is that everybody gets to speak. RULE 2 is that discussions in themselves can be useful. RULE 3 is that when you meet you must work as a team not as individuals.
Team Beliefs are the fuel which can really energise or kill team effectiveness. Unfortunately this is often the most neglected aspect of a high-performing team initiative. In this article I remind people of the key beliefs of high-performing teams.
Congratulations to the Socialcast blog for an excellent summary of Bioteams plus a truly awesome poster "Unlocking the Bioteams formula" which gives a great introduction to bioteams - all in a single picture.
Very nice short article by Harold Jarche in his blog "Life in Perpetual Beta" which revisits the 4 key zones of Bioteams: Leadership, Connectivity, Execution, Organization.
I spoke at the inaugural TEDx event in Belfast on March 23. My argument was that we have all experienced high-performing teams but mostly not at work (sports, music, adventures, holidays, family etc)! In the video The Lost Secrets of High-Performing Teams I remind us of what we may have forgotten about great teams and make a plea to bring these sensibilities back into our work teams.