West Coast Univeristy Your Team is My Team Discussion

Discussion: Your Team is My Team

Required Resources

Read/review the following resources for this activity:

  • Textbook: Chapters 11,12
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 1 scholarly source
  • Initial Post InstructionsAfter completing the Matching Game in the Team Members section (i.e. the one where you matched team member labeled as encourager, clarifier, etc. with their description)  in the lesson answer each of the following:

  • Which of the positive team members are you most like?
  • Of the negative team members, which are you most like?
  • What does the chapter reading suggest that you do to correct the negative behaviors?
  • Revisit the Team Meeting Assignment from Week 2. In that assignment you were asked how your Big Five Personality Characteristics made you an effective team member, how these characteristics serve as a strength, and how you might navigate personality and leadership differences on a team. Given the additional knowledge you have gained over the past few weeks, what might you have done differently as part of a team member in that first week? Are you able to identify your (and others’) weaknesses as well as strengths? How can you maximize strengths while minimizing pain points on the team? How have you grown (or can you grow) as both a team member and a leader?
  • Here, you get to do more hands-on analysis of yourself.  We also revisit the Big Five Personality Characteristics.

    Those are conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness to experience.  Below are some of the characteristics associated with each factor.

    Conscientiousness – responsible, persistent, planful, achievement-oriented.

    Extraversion – sociable, assertive, talkative, energetic, ambitious.

    Agreeableness – cooperative, trusting, likable, friendly.

    Neuroticism/Emotional stability – secure, calm, low anxiety.

    Openness to experience – curious, imaginative, independent.

    Lesson: From Leading ‘Me’ to Leading ‘We.’
    Building Your Team
    When you think about a “Team,” what does that mean to you? Is it just a collection of
    people who sit together in tons of meeting hoping to balance the budget after 3 years?
    Or, do you think of a team as a bunch of sweaty people wearing matching uniforms and
    attempting to meet their goal of winning?
    If the second example resonates more closely to what you believe a team is, you’re on
    your way to building effective teams. The reason that the second option most closely
    resembles a team is that those involved appear to be equally invested in achieving the
    same goal. Our text gives us the 12 most common characteristics of winning teams.
    1. Clear Mission: The task of the group is well understood and accepted by all. If
    you think about it, how can a soccer team win a match if only 4 players believe
    that the goal is to put the ball inside the goal? We wouldn’t be looking at a very
    successful, coordinated or cohesive team at all!
    2. Informal Atmosphere: The team atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed. But
    even with being informal, the team members still know their role.
    3. Lots of discussion: Can you imagine if the world championship soccer team
    didn’t talk with each other during matches? What would happen if during
    halftime no one spoke about their strategy? Can you imagine a quiet locker
    room? Typically, if you see a team together in silence, you would wonder what
    the “problem” is. In the most effective teams, everyone gets a chance to talk!
    4. Active Listening: Each member needs to pay attention to and respect the
    thoughts of others through active listening.
    5. Trust and Openness: Each team member can express their ideas about the
    team, and the ultimate goal with negative repercussions.
    6. Disagreement: Believe it or not, it’s okay for team members to disagree with
    each other. Even with disagreement about how to reach the goal, effective
    teams are willing to work through their disagreements and come to a resolve.
    7. Criticism is issue-oriented, not personal: Constructive criticism occurs, but it
    isn’t personal. If during a huddle the team captain shouts, “You guys have to up
    your defense. This is getting ridiculous! Play your role, get your head in the
    game!” The criticism surrounds how the game is being played, not on personally
    attacking individuals. But instead, if the captain said, “Tommy, you play like a
    turtle. I knew we shouldn’t have drafted you!” you will see how harmful this
    could be to Tommy and to the team morale!
    8. Consensus is the norm: If your soccer team is not regularly in agreement,
    things are going to get hectic! This should be the same of your workplace
    teams. It should be normal for you all to agree or at least communicate about
    goals, agendas, tasks, etc.
    9. Effective Leadership: The issue with this characteristic is that is can fluctuate
    from informal to formal. But there isn’t a power struggle on an effective team.
    10. Clarity of Assignments: The group knows about the action plan. Each
    member knows what they are expected to do.
    11. Shared values and norms of behavior: Back to your soccer team. If some
    members feel that it is okay to bite opposing team members in order to meet the
    goal of winning, we will have a serious problem. To be effective, the entire team
    needs to have shared values.
    12. Commitment: Everyone is committed to win! This means that members take
    individual steps to be effective (practicing, running in off time, etc.). But as a
    team, they are also committed to the goal.
    When you think of any teams that you are a member of, are these characteristics of
    your team? If so, would you consider your team to be successful at reaching their
    goals? There is a high likelihood, according to our text that if a team consists of these
    characteristics that it will be successful! Now that you have reviewed the characteristics
    that make an effective team, be sure to complete the review before moving forward.
    Briefings: These briefings are breaks in your weekly reading, and your responses to
    them will be turned in as a final “Briefing Portfolio” in the last week of the course for a
    grade. Download the Briefings document from the Files section of the course and read
    over the briefing questions for the week. While I encourage you to think about all of the
    questions, you will only need to record your responses to two questions per week for
    your final Briefing Portfolio submission. You can write your responses to these
    questions on the template provided. After responding each week, save your answers
    (and the document) to your computer as you will need to turn this completed document
    in at the end of the course.
    Now that you know the top 12 characteristics of an effective team, think about any
    teams at work that you belong to. Answer the following questions:
    1. Is everyone committed to the team goals?
    2. Is criticism issue-oriented, or is it personal?
    3. How can I ensure that my team is living up to these characteristics of an effective
    Team Members
    In the chapter readings this week, you will spend a lot of time learning how to build
    teams and how to help them perform at optimal levels. But as we learned in Week 1,
    people are individuals first. So, let’s review the types of team members, whether a
    positive influence on the group, or a negative one.
    To assist you in understanding the different types of teammates, let’s take a look at the
    chart below:
    Ego tripper
    Stephen is so dogmatic. It is uncomfortable when he
    addresses the group because he monopolizes the time and it
    feels more like he is trying to fulfill his own goals of getting
    a promotion, than he is in helping the group achieve its
    Mary is so ill-tempered. Or maybe she just doesn’t like
    working on the team. Regardless, she argues with everyone
    on the team. If someone presents an idea, Mary is the first to
    explain why it wouldn’t work.
    Above-itall person
    Simone is the type of team member who spends most of his
    time in group meetings being distracted. He talks to other
    members, acts excessively formal and indifferent to the
    needs of the team.
    Henry is so volatile. He gets really angry in meetings and
    spends too much time attempting to reduce the importance
    of our team to the organization. He also personally attacks
    members and their worthiness to be on the team.
    Glen is like a class clown. Instead of helping advance the
    team’s goals, it’s like he is there just to get a laugh.
    When there is a group vote that may be divisive, Larry
    refuses to vote. If our team performs well, Larry is likely to
    get a bonus. We need his analytical mind, but whenever
    there is disagreement, Larry withdraws and chooses not to
    make a stand.
    Is seems that Casey will self sabotage just to get attention.
    She doesn’t care if she is liked or not, but every meeting she
    makes the criticism about her and makes it appear as if she
    is being mistreated by the group.
    Assembling Your Dream Team
    You know what kinds of team members there are, but how do we assemble the Dream
    Team for our project, organization, or unit? Our chapter readings suggest that there is a
    system for putting together the perfect team. Before you get uber excited and think that
    you are about to assemble the newest champions, carefully consider all variables like
    personalities, experience in their position and their subject matter expertise.
    Please carefully review the following infographic. This infographic shows you the
    progression of the stages of team development over time. If you belong to a team
    currently, what stage are you in?
    Briefings: These briefings are breaks in your weekly reading, and your responses to
    them will be turned in as a final “Briefing Portfolio” in the last week of the course for a
    grade. Download the Briefings document from the Files section of the course and read
    over the briefing questions for the week. While I encourage you to think about all of the
    questions, you will only need to record your responses to two questions per week for
    your final Briefing Portfolio submission. You can write your responses to these
    questions on the template provided. After responding each week, save your answers
    (and the document) to your computer as you will need to turn this completed document
    in at the end of the course.
    1. If you currently work on a team, which stage of development are you in?
    2. What can you do as a team leader to get your team to “performing”?
    Resolving Conflict
    When you get two or more people together, regardless of the stage of team
    development they are in, you must be prepared for the conflicts that inevitably will arise.
    You may consider yourself a peaceful person who collaborates well with others. But as
    you will learn in this course, people communicate differently and have different needs.
    Because of this, you may find that you are embroiled in a conflict that you were never
    expecting to be in. To be an effective leader, you should learn to see conflict as a
    growing pain, and you have to be adept at resolving the issues as they present
    In addition to increasing efficiency in the teams and people that you manage, you can
    become more empathetic and sensitive to differing viewpoints as you learn to manage
    conflict. When using conflict resolution skills, you must consider diversity, the type of
    conflict, and any emotions associated with the conflict (i.e. anger, betrayal, disgust,
    etc.). But possibly more important, you have to consider the different approaches to
    manage conflict. If you don’t mind conflict and like to address it assertively and swiftly,
    you may find yourself frustrated when a person you lead takes a avoidant approach to
    resolving conflicts.
    Click through the interactive below to learn more about the different approaches taken
    to resolve conflicts. Keep in mind how you may have to modify your own approach to
    resolve conflict with others.
    Click the headings below to learn more information about managing conflict when it
    presents itself in your work teams.
    Uncooperative and unassertive. Pretends that a conflict doesn’t exist.
    Cooperative and unassertive. Downplays differences, and highlights similarities to
    reduce conflict.
    Uncooperative and assertive. Uses skill, force, and power to “win” the conflict.
    Moderately cooperative and moderately assertive. Occurs when each party to the
    conflicts gives up something of value to the opposing side.
    Cooperative and assertive. Requires integration of conflicting interests to benefit all
    You may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by all of the information on conflict and conflict
    management. But if you think about it, conflict is a major determinant in people staying
    or leaving a job. In fact, the Society for Human Resources Management reported that 1
    in 4 employees would leave their job if they had conflict with their boss (Wilkie 2015)!
    Wow! Imagine a quarter of your workforce quitting? How would that affect your
    organization? Probably in major ways, right? Having reasonable and amicable
    relationships with the people you lead and who you are led by is an imperative
    component of the work experience.
    In this section, you can see the different approaches to managing conflict. In the chapter
    readings, there is specific information about when to use each approach to solve
    conflict. Please review those suggestions and answer the Review questions.
    Briefings: These briefings are breaks in your weekly reading, and your responses to
    them will be turned in as a final “Briefing Portfolio” in the last week of the course for a
    grade. Download the Briefings document from the Files section of the course and read
    over the briefing questions for the week. While I encourage you to think about all of the
    questions, you will only need to record your responses to two questions per week for
    your final Briefing Portfolio submission. You can write your responses to these
    questions on the template provided. After responding each week, save your answers
    (and the document) to your computer as you will need to turn this completed document
    in at the end of the course.
    1. Have you experienced a recent conflict in a work relationship? If so, how did you
    manage the conflict?
    2. Do you think that there is an approach that would have worked best? Why?
    3. What is the value in knowing how to resolve conflicts in your teams?
    Wilkie, Dana. (2015). If 1 in 3 Workers Wants to Quit, HR Had Better Figure Out Why.
    Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employeerelations/pages/many-employees-plan-to-quit.aspx
    The Team Concept
    ociologists Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and George Simmel explain the role of groups
    in the human experience.98 Whether preliterate or postindustrial, people have always used groups
    to satisfy important needs: For childbearing and intimacy, we use marriage and family; for our
    interest in the supernatural, we create religious sects and institutions; for social order and
    organization, we form governments; for education, we establish schools; for protection, we raise
    armies; for economic needs, we form work groups and organizations.99
    In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond describes the factors that have caused
    human societies to emerge, thrive, and disappear. He emphasizes the interplay between
    technology, biology, and aggression. One phenomenon that appears as groups grow to 100 or so
    people is the emergence of some form of government. Sometimes governance is based on the
    power of a family; other times it is formalized with elections; and at times it is based on the
    personality of a single leader.
    Group governance emerges because people recognize that they can solve common problems
    more effectively, such as finding food and shelter and defending against enemies, by pooling
    resources rather than working as individuals. Individuals are willing to give up certain liberties
    and resources to gain services they could not provide on their own. Enter the role of leadership—
    the ability to harness and channel the power of the group.
    The importance of group dynamics in the workplace and the role of the leader as team builder
    have a long history. The formal study of groups began in the human relations movement of the
    1920s and 1930s as collaborative efforts were featured to balance the individual efforts
    emphasized by scientific management theorists. In the 1940s and 1950s, the focus moved to
    sensitivity training and T-groups and the development of interpersonal skills. In the 1960s, an era
    of organizational development emphasized team and leadership effectiveness through
    interventions with ongoing work groups and organizations. In the 1970s and 1980s, competition
    from Japan and other countries resulted in an emphasis on participative management, employee
    involvement, and quality improvement through the use of teams. In the 1990s and 2000s, the
    focus shifted to high-performance teams to design products, serve customers, and improve
    quality to maintain a competitive advantage in a global economy.100
    W.L. Gore & Associates is widely recognized for its diverse and innovative products; most
    well known is the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex. Gore has more than $3 billion in annual sales and
    more than 10,000 employees (called associates) worldwide. A key ingredient in Gore’s success
    is the company’s use of teams to innovate and motivate, rather than relying on a hierarchy of
    managers. Gore is structured around a collaborative lattice of teams charged with the mission to
    innovate, perform highly, and enjoy their work. Personal initiative and teamwork are highly
    valued in the company. Both morale and productivity are high in Gore’s team-based structure.
    W.L. Gore has been on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies” for 18 years.101
    Currently, teams are used in the majority of organizations in the United States, regardless of size.
    At many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s day is spent communicating with
    co-workers. To prepare leaders for the challenge, business schools have revised their curriculums
    to focus on team-based learning, and companies are providing training in group dynamics.
    Leaders today rely on teams and new technology to enable communication across time and
    geographic distance. Leadership success requires an understanding of group behavior and the
    ability to tap the constructive power of teams.102
    Teamwork Means Life and Death at Mayo Clinic
    The Mayo Clinic, which employs more than 42,000 people at various locations, is an example of
    an organization that relies on teamwork to provide high-quality healthcare. Mayo hires at the top
    of the talent pool, but it also seeks people who view quality in medicine as a team endeavor.
    Mayo shuns the star system in favor of the team concept. Many excellent clinicians will not fit at
    Mayo, including those who lack interpersonal skills and a one-team attitude. States a Mayo
    physician, “The Mayo culture attracts individuals who see the practice of medicine best delivered
    when there is an integration of medical specialties functioning as a team. It is what we do best,
    and most of us love to do it. What is most inspiring is when a case is successful because of the
    teamwork of a bunch of docs from different specialties; it has the feeling of hitting a home run in
    Excellent Teams
    The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828 1910) opens his masterpiece Anna Karenina by saying,
    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”104 The same can
    be said for groups. Rather than a single thread, there is a tapestry of qualities that characterize all
    effective groups. The most important element of teamwork is commitment to a common purpose.
    The best teams also develop norms of behavior for working together to achieve their purpose.
    With a clear, motivating purpose and positive norms of behavior, people can pull together as a
    powerful force to achieve extraordinary results.105 Fully functioning groups and excellent teams
    possess 12 key characteristics:
    1. Clear mission. The task or objective of the group is well understood and accepted by all.
    2. Informal atmosphere. The atmosphere is informal, comfortable, and relaxed. It is a
    working atmosphere in which everyone is involved and interested. There are no signs of
    3. Lots of discussion. Time is allowed for discussion in which everyone is encouraged to
    participate, and discussion remains pertinent to the task of the group.
    4. Active listening. Members listen to each other. People show respect for one another by
    listening when others are talking. Every idea is given a hearing.
    5. Trust and openness. Members feel free to express ideas and feelings, both on the issues
    and on the group’s operation. People are not afraid to suggest new and different ideas,
    even if they are fairly extreme.
    6. Disagreement is OK. Disagreement is not suppressed or overridden by premature group
    action. Differences are carefully examined as the group seeks to understand all points of
    view. Conflict and differences of opinion are accepted as the price of creativity.
    7. Criticism is issue-oriented, never personal. Constructive criticism is given and accepted.
    Criticism is oriented toward solving problems and accomplishing the mission. Personal
    criticism is neither expressed nor felt.
    8. Consensus is the norm. Decisions are reached by consensus, in which it is clear that
    everyone is in general agreement and willing to go along. Formal voting is kept to a
    9. Effective leadership. Informal leadership shifts from time to time, depending on
    circumstances. There is little evidence of a struggle for power as the group operates. The
    issue is not who controls, but how to get the job done.
    10. Clarity of assignments. The group is informed of the action plan. When action is taken,
    clear assignments are made and accepted. People know what they are expected to do.
    11. Shared values and norms of behavior. There is agreement on core values and norms of
    behavior that determine the rightness and wrongness of conduct in the group.
    12. Commitment. People are committed to achieving the goals of the group.
    Exercise 11–1 can be used to evaluate a group and improve both team spirit and team
    effectiveness on the basis of results. By reinforcing strengths and addressing deficiencies, people
    can take steps to build and sustain a high-performance group. When this is done, together
    everyone can accomplish more.
    Exercise 11–1 Characteristics of an Effective Group106
    Consider each of the following characteristics. Evaluate your group as it is operating now (1 is
    the lowest rating; 10 is the highest).
    1. Clear mission
    2. Informal atmosphere
    3. Lots of discussion
    4. Active listening
    5. Trust and openness
    6. Disagreement is OK
    7. Criticism is issue-oriented, never personal
    8. Consensus is the norm
    9. Effective leadership
    10. Clarity of assignments
    11. Shared values and norms of behavior
    12. Commitment
    Add all the circled numbers to find your overall score. Then see the following chart to find your
    group’s effectiveness rating.
    Refer to the following discussion to interpret your group’s rating. Note that each characteristic is
    important, so strive to improve low ratings, regardless of the overall total.
    This is a top-notch group regarding communication and teamwork. The
    atmosphere is warm and supportive. The focus of attention and effort is on
    the mission. Creativity is encouraged and success can be expected.
    This is a strong group for morale and teamwork. There is enthusiasm and
    an overall spirit of cooperation and dedication to accomplishing the
    mission. Such a group attracts and keeps good people; then these people
    work as a team to achieve success.
    Conditions are neither all good nor all bad regarding group
    effectiveness. As is, the group is average. If you are a member or leader of
    such a group, you are probably suffering from cognitive dissonance and
    won’t be satisfied until conditions are in line with your ideals.
    This is a poor group environment. Major work is needed to improve
    attitudes and performance. Without attention to team building, failure can
    be expected.
    Major change in group composition is in order. Personal and social factors
    may exist that make staying together unacceptable. What is the answer?
    Separation and reorganization so that talented and dedicated individuals
    are not lost.
    Positive versus Negative Group Member Roles
    How do you develop a high-performance group? Success depends on the individual and what he
    or she chooses to do. It depends also on the example and direction of leaders. A high level of
    group performance can be achieved when formal leaders and influential members of the group
    model and reinforce positive versus negative group member roles. Roles that help build and
    sustain a high-performance group are as follows:107
    1. Encourager. This person is friendly, diplomatic, and responsive to others in the group.
    The encourager makes others in the group feel good and helps them make contributions
    to fulfill their potential. The encourager is a cheerleader, coach, and group advocate.
    2. Clarifier. The clarifier restates problems and solutions, summarizes points after
    discussion, and introduces new or late members to the group by bringing them up to date
    on what has happened. The gift of the clarifier is to create order out of chaos and replace
    confusion with clarity.
    3. Harmonizer. The harmonizer agrees with the rest of the group, brings together opposite
    points of view, and is not aggressive toward others. The harmonizer brings peace versus
    war, love versus hate, cooperation versus competition, and unity versus discord.
    4. Idea generator. The idea generator is spontaneous and creative. This person is unafraid
    of change and suggests ideas that others do not. Often these ideas are just what are
    needed to solve a problem. The idea generator is almost always a creative and
    unconventional thinker. Pose a problem, and ideas will flow. Idea generators are rich in
    ideas—half-baked or fully baked.
    5. Ignition key. This person provides the spark for group action, causing the group to meet,
    work, and follow through with ideas. The ignition key is often a practical organizer who
    orchestrates and facilitates the work of the group. In this sense, the ignition key plays a
    leadership role in group action.
    6. Standard setter. This person’s high ideals and personal conduct serve as a model for
    group members. The standard setter is uncompromising in upholding the group’s values
    and goals, and thus inspires group pride. The standard setter is often an expert, possessing
    knowledge and skills deemed important by the group.
    7. Detail specialist. This person considers the facts and implications of a problem. The
    detail specialist deals with small points that often have significant consequences in
    determining the overall success of a group project. A vigilant finisher, the detail specialist
    searches for errors and omissions and keeps the group on red alert. To understand the
    importance of the detail specialist, consider Benjamin Franklin’s words:
    A little neglect may breed mischief: for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; for
    want of a horse, the rider was lost; for want of a rider, the battle was lost; for want of a battle, the war was lost; for
    want of a war, the cause was lost. The cause could be something of great importance—life, liberty, the pursuit of
    happiness—lost for want of a nail.108
    The following are group member roles that reduce group success:109
    1. Ego tripper. This individual interrupts others, launches into long monologues, and is
    overly dogmatic. The ego tripper constantly demands attention and tries to manipulate the
    group to satisfy a need to feel important.
    2. Negative artist. This person rejects all ideas suggested by others, takes a negative attitude
    on issues, argues unnecessarily, and refuses to cooperate. The negative artist is
    pessimistic about everything and dampens group enthusiasm, unlike a helpful “devil’s
    advocate” who constructively poses alternative views.
    3. Above-it-all person. This member withdraws from the group and its activities by being
    aloof, indifferent, and excessively formal, and by daydreaming, doodling, whispering to
    others, wandering from the subject, or talking about personal experiences when they are
    unrelated to the group discussion. The above-it-all person has a “don’t care” attitude that
    detracts from group progress.
    4. Aggressor. This person attacks and blames others, shows anger or irritation against the
    group or individuals, and deflates the importance or position of the group and the
    members in it.
    5. Jokester. This person is present for fun, not work. The jokester fools around most of the
    time and will distract the group from its business just to get a laugh.
    6. Avoider. This person does anything to avoid controversy or confrontation. The avoider is
    dedicated to personal security and self-preservation, and is unwilling to take a stand or
    make a decision.
    7. Power victim. This is the person who seeks negative attention and whose motto seems to
    be “You may not like me, but you’ll never forget me.” The power victim draws time and
    energy from the group.
    In The Hard Hat, Jon Gordon describes the roles George Boiardi played on his Cornell
    lacrosse team. Boiardi was an exceptional athlete, who was a role-model team player. He worked
    harder than anyone else, didn’t care about personal glory, and always sacrificed for the good of
    the team. On March 24, 2004, Boiardi died after taking a ball to the chest while defending the
    goal during a game against Binghamton University. The Hard Hat distills 21 lessons to be a
    great teammate, based on the example of George Boiardi’s days at Cornell. He served the roles
    of ignition key, encourager, and standard setter and was never a negative artist, ego tripper, or
    above-it-all person. His positive energy, self-sacrifice, and high standards helped his team
    In 1948, Ken Benne identified positive team member roles, such as encourager and
    harmonizer, and negative roles, such as slacker and blocker. They inspired a useful template of
    team member personalities and how to handle them, the “Community Zoo.” The Community
    Zoo shows how people are like animals, each with its own nature and potential to contribute.
    Consider the rabbits, lions, and turtles in your work group or team, and capitalize on the different
    needs and interests of each group member. Take steps to channel his or her efforts to help the
    group succeed.
    The Community Zoo111
    ELEPHANT—Elephants always remember the bad things, so utilize this talent by asking,
    “What could we have done differently?”
    ROOSTER—Tell roosters to be quiet until the timing is right. Roosters need attention, so
    give it to them by letting them make announcements.
    PARROT—Parrots are like roosters but with lots of color, so put them in PR.
    RABBIT—Rabbits are full of energy, so give them something to do. Also, have meetings
    with an agenda, or they will jump from topic to topic.
    HOUND DOG—Hound dogs are loyal and they lie by the fire, so remind them of the group’s
    purpose, give them a scent, and say, “Let’s go.”
    ALLIGATOR—Alligators usually won’t bother you unless provoked; then they snap your leg
    off. If possible, work around the sensitivities and sore spots of alligators.
    OSTRICH—The ostrich avoids, avoids, avoids . . . sticking its head in the sand to deny
    reality. The ostrich won’t pay attention until touched personally, so touch them personally.
    Then they will move fast.
    LEMMING—Lemmings don’t think for themselves. Conformity is their nature, so be sure
    they are hanging out with the right crowd and going in the right direction.
    LION—The lion wants to be king. Recognition and the chance to influence events are
    especially important to the lion, so give him or her importance.
    TURTLE—Turtles don’t go anywhere until they stick their necks out, so ask for ideas and
    reward risk-taking behavior. Appreciate their talent for persistence and survival.
    MONKEY—Monkeys are very smart, but what they like to do is play, so make work play.
    Capitalize on their natural tendencies to be creative and solve problems by turning work into
    a challenge and a chance to have a good time.
    BUZZARD—Buzzards won’t initiate work, but they pick on everyone else’s bones, so
    channel buzzards to handle important details that can’t be overlooked.
    SHARK—Sharks kill things. The secret is to get them to attack the right things, so get your
    sharks lined up and committed to the right objectives.
    The importance of positive versus negative group members can be seen in the “Tale of the
    Tates.” The Tates are in every organization. There is Dic Tate, who wants to run everything
    whether he is qualified or not; Ro Tate, who always tries to change things around even when they
    are working; Agi Tate, who stirs up trouble with a helping hand from Irri Tate; Devas Tate, who
    would rather tear something down than build it up; and Poten Tate, who wants to be emperor.
    When new ideas are suggested it is Hesi Tate and Vegi Tate who resist and insist it can never be
    done, and it is Imi Tate who would rather copy from others than try something new. Thank
    goodness for Facili Tate, Cogi Tate, and Medi Tate, who help the team succeed. As a leader,
    which Tate are you?112
    Life-and-death consequences can result from the behavior of leaders and team members.
    In Island of the Lost, historian Joan Druett draws from diaries and journals to describe what
    happened in 1864 when two ships, the schooner Grafton and freighter Invercauld, were
    shipwrecked less than 20 miles from each other on Auckland Island at the edge of the world.
    Druett depicts a tale of pulling together and positive roles on the part of the captain and crew of
    the Grafton. All 5 of the crew survived. In contrast, the captain and crew of
    the Invercauld exhibited negative roles and even cannibalism. By the time they were rescued,
    only three members of the crew of 19 had survived.113
    As a practical measure, consider your own work group or organization, and ask, Who is
    playing positive versus negative group member roles? Who is providing encouragement,
    harmony, new ideas? Take the time to let members know how important they are to the group’s
    success, and how appreciated they are for their efforts. Be specific and be personal if you want to
    reinforce these helpful behaviors. Above all, be sure that your own actions are positive and
    constructive. For example, where a negative artist may complain about the wind, the effective
    leader adjusts the sails. This positive example is instructive and helpful for all.
    Dealing with Problem Behavior
    Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) can be positive, including efforts to advance the work
    of the organization. Examples are helping others, sportsmanship, loyalty, and civic virtue.
    Positive citizenship behavior, job satisfaction, and work performance all go together for the
    benefit of the individual and the organization.114 In contrast, counterproductive work behavior
    (CWB) is harmful to the organization and its members. Examples include stealing, cheating,
    harassment, social loafing, and negative group member roles.115
    What do you do about the individual whose behavior reduces the effectiveness of the group?
    Psychologist Harry Levinson prescribes a nine-point plan for dealing with problem behavior:116
    1. When an individual’s behavior harms the group, talk it over in a calm and patient way.
    Recognize that the origins of negative behavior may be feelings of insecurity, need for
    attention, vulnerable self-image, and eagerness for perfection.
    2. Report observations uncritically. Describe what happened, especially the behavior to
    which people reacted. Ask how the person thought others felt when she said or did what
    you describe. Was this the result desired? If not, discuss how the person can act in the
    future to get the response she wants.
    3. Point out that you recognize the person wants to be successful but that to reach his goals,
    he must take others into account. Note also that usually there will be defeats and
    disappointments along the way.
    4. If the person’s behavior becomes irritating, avoid the impulse to attack or withdraw.
    Instead, report how he made you feel and how others must feel when he behaves this
    way. Let him know that you are annoyed but you nevertheless value him as a person.
    5. Ask why the person behaves as she does. For example, why does she attack people in
    situations that are not combative? Explain that being part of a critical discussion is one
    thing, but turning discussion into an argument or struggle for power is another.
    6. If the person challenges, philosophizes, defends, or tries to debate your observations,
    don’t counterattack. Keep your eye on his or her goal. People do what they do for their
    own reasons. What exactly does the person want, and how can participation in the group
    help accomplish his or her goals?
    7. Help the person understand that compromise is not necessarily second best, that the allor-nothing approach usually results in disappointment, and that cooperation with others
    can be rewarding. Expect to repeat this process again and again. In all discussions, point
    out the legitimate achievements of which he can be proud.
    8. A person may be closed-minded. Perhaps she is thinking of defensive arguments or is
    preoccupied with her own thoughts. Then she must be confronted with the facts and
    consequences of her negative group behavior.
    9. If, despite your best efforts, the person does not respond, he needs to know in no
    uncertain terms that his behavior is unacceptable, it will not be tolerated, and separation
    is required. Do not assume that he knows. He should be told directly and without
    Designing Teams for Success
    Twenty-five years ago, Peter Drucker wrote: “Organizations years hence will bear little
    resemblance to the typical company, circa 1950. Traditional departments will serve as guardians
    of standards, as centers for training and assignment of specialists. They won’t be where the work
    gets done; that will happen largely in task focused teams.”117
    The team approach is being used more and more in organizational settings. Senior leaders
    may sponsor teams of five to eight individuals to work on projects related to the success of the
    company. Areas addressed include strategic planning, new markets, technology, product and
    service quality, safety, and “work life” issues.118
    Types of teams include production, service, management, project, action, and advisory. The
    globalization of organizations and the changing nature of work have created the need for crosscultural and virtual teams. The goal is to unlock slices of genius and tap the constructive power
    of teams of employees.119
    Effective teams generate creative solutions to business problems, thus feeding the innovation
    required for organization success. The example of Google makes the point. There is little in the
    way of corporate hierarchy. Innovation is achieved by creative and motivated employees
    working in teams.120
    Although team size varies from 30 or more members in some flat-organization structures to as
    few as 2 in some circumstances, team size is usually 5 to 12 members, with 5 to 6 considered
    optimal. Various organizations have different customs and practices: At Amazon.com, the twopizza rule guides. If a team can’t be fed by two pizzas, it’s too big. At Microsoft, the ideal size
    for a software development team is 8. The team’s task is a key consideration because it defines
    the type of skills needed, effort required, and coordination necessary.
    As a guide, teams should be large enough to provide the necessary competencies and
    perspectives to perform the work yet small enough to maintain sufficient coordination and
    meaningful involvement of each team member.121
    Diversity of members allows a larger pool of knowledge and perspectives on a team. Benefits
    of diversity occur when members value and integrate different experiences, talents, work
    methods, and styles.122In 1945, Bell Labs created interdisciplinary teams combining chemists,
    physicists, metallurgists, and engineers and combining theorists and experimentalists. They
    shared physical space and, by intention, everyone worked with everyone else. The resulting
    integration produced world-changing innovations from the transistor, to satellite
    communications. Bell Labs created an “idea factory.”123
    When a group approach is appropriate, the questionnaire in Exercise 11–2 can be used to
    construct teams for balance and diagnose existing teams for potential strengths and weaknesses.
    Note that the questionnaire evaluates problem-solving styles, not ability.
    Exercise 11–2 Problem-Solving Styles—Darwin, Einstein, Socrates, and Ford 124
    There are 10 sets of phrases below. Rank each set by assigning a 4 to the phrase that
    is most like your problem-solving style, a 3 to the one next most like your style, a 2 to the
    one next most like your style, and a 1 to the phrase least like your problem-solving style. Be
    sure to assign a different number to each phrase in the set. There can be no ties. The example
    below shows how one person might rank the first set of phrases.
    When you have completed the questionnaire, find the total score for each column. Record that
    number in the appropriate space below:
    E col
    R col
    T col
    Record your totals for E, R, T, and A on the appropriate axes in Figure 11–1, and connect the
    scores with straight lines to make a picture of your problem-solving style. The longest line of
    your four-sided figure indicates your preferred style—that of Charles Darwin, Albert
    Einstein, Socrates, or Henry Ford.
    Figure 11–1 A Picture of Your Problem-Solving Style
    Interpretation and Discussion:
    All problem solving involves having experiences (E), reflecting on results (R), building theories
    (T), and taking action (A). These processes or activities constitute four steps of the problemsolving cycle (see Figure 11–2). The following is a description of the problem-solving cycle,
    including the strengths and potential weaknesses of each style—that of Charles Darwin, Albert
    Einstein, Socrates, and Henry Ford.
    Figure 11–2 The Problem-Solving Cycle
    Charles Darwin Style
    Having experiences (step 1) is followed by reflecting on results (step 2). If the longest line of
    your four-sided figure is between E and R (see Figure 11–3), your preferred style of
    problem solving is like that of Charles Darwin (1809 1882), author of On the Origin of
    Species by Means of Natural Selection and The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation
    to Sex. At the age of 22, Darwin sailed the South Pacific on the HMS Beagle. His observations
    of plants and animals, most notably the rare creatures of the Galápagos Islands, were the basis
    for his theory of evolution. About himself, Darwin wrote, “My mind seems to have become a kind
    of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.”125
    Figure 11–3 The Charles Darwin Problem-Solving Style
    As a Darwin, your strengths are observing, recording facts, and identifying alternatives.
    Gathering data is enjoyable to you. By style, you are a basic researcher and you love the
    discovery process. Darwins are known in every field—social science, natural science, the arts,
    business, and the professions—for their thorough data collection and objective analysis. Carried
    to an extreme, however, the Darwin style of problem solving can lead to paralysis as each new
    fact becomes even more interesting than the last, resulting in indecision. It is important to look
    before leaping, but it is possible to look so long that one never leaps. Consider the case of
    Darwin himself, who had developed his theories of human evolution years before another
    scientist, Alfred Russell Wallace, came to similar conclusions and would have received credit for
    these theories, had not Darwin at last published.
    Albert Einstein Style
    After the data are gathered, theory building takes place (step 3). At this stage, assumptions are
    developed and ideas are formulated. One moves from the world of experience into the world of
    theory while remaining in the mode of reflecting rather than acting. If the longest line of your
    figure is between R and T (see Figure 11–4), your preferred style of problem solving is
    the same as that of theoretical scientist Albert Einstein (1879 1955). Abstract
    conceptualization and blue-sky thinking are your forte. In 1905, known as Einstein’s “year
    of miracles,” he wrote four papers that are each regarded as works of genius. In his description
    of the world, Einstein wrote, “Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are
    not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.”126 When Einstein was
    asked how he would save the world in one hour, he replied that 55 minutes should be spent
    thinking and 5 minutes doing. The Einstein style of problem solving is like that of the typical
    philosopher. Carried to an extreme, however, it can result in castles in the air with little practical
    value. This is the style of the husband whose wife says, “That’s good, Albert, but when are you
    going to do something?”
    Figure 11–4 The Albert Einstein Problem-Solving Style
    Socrates Style
    After theories have been developed, they must be tested (step 4). If your longest line is
    between T and A (see Figure 11–5), your preferred style is that of the applied scientist. As
    such, yours is the style of the teacher Socrates (470 399 bc): Your strength is not in
    collecting and analyzing data but in translating ideas so that they can be put into action.
    Figure 11–5 The Socrates Problem-Solving Style
    We know Socrates as one of the greatest teachers in history, perhaps the greatest of the great
    men produced by Athens. . . . He wandered through the streets and down to the marketplace, or
    often he would go to the public gymnasium. Then he started business—the business of
    teaching. Socrates was the founder of moral philosophy. He was scoffed at for taking his
    examples from common life, but he did so to lead plain people to goodness, truth, and
    A more modern example of the Socrates problem-solving style is Thomas Alva Edison, a
    practical genius and America’s greatest inventor, who said: “The only invention I can really claim
    as absolutely original is the phonograph. I’m an awfully good sponge. I absorb ideas from every
    source I can and then I put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of
    some value. The ideas that I use are mostly the ideas of other people who don’t develop them
    themselves. None of my inventions came by accident. I saw a worthwhile need to be met and I
    made trial after trial until discovery came. What it boils down to is one percent inspiration and
    ninety-nine percent perspiration.”128
    Comfortable with ideas, but wanting to apply them, the applied scientist moves from a
    reflective to an active orientation. This person enjoys coordinating and problem-solving
    activities. When taken to the extreme, the Socrates style of problem solving may result in
    impressive, but incomplete, performance because these individuals dislike details. The
    Socrates-type person may give a beautiful speech but fail to do thorough research.
    Henry Ford Style
    Taking action automatically results in new experiences (step 1), so the problem-solving cycle
    never completely ends. In work, and in life, when one problem is solved, another arises. If your
    longest line is between A and E (see Figure 11–6), your style of problem solving is like
    that of Henry Ford (1863 1947), whose strength was achieving results. Upton Sinclair
    described Henry Ford, the functional practitioner, as follows:
    Figure 11–6 The Henry Ford Problem-Solving Style
    Henry Ford was now fifty-five; slender, gray-haired, with sensitive features and a quick, nervous
    manner. His long, thin hands were never still, but were always playing with something. He was a
    kind man, unassuming, not changed by his great success, the world’s first billionaire. Having
    had less than a grammar-school education, his speech was full of the peculiarities of the plain
    folk of the Middle West. He had never learned to deal with theories, and when confronted with
    one, he would scuttle back to the facts like a rabbit to its hole. What Ford knew he had learned
    by experience, and if he learned more, it would be in the same manner.129
    If the functional practitioner knows what needs to be done, the goal will usually be
    accomplished. This is a person of deeds and action, more than ideas and contemplation. But
    here, as with the other problem-solving styles, a strength may become a liability when carried to
    the extreme. If the functional practitioner does not have sufficient facts, or fails to work from a
    well-conceived plan, there may be tremendous accomplishment—of the wrong thing.
    Versatile Style
    The versatile style of problem solving is represented by Figure 11–7. This individual is
    equally comfortable with each step of the problem-solving cycle—having experiences, reflecting
    on results, building theories, and taking action. As such, this person does not have structural
    strengths or weaknesses resulting from style preference.
    Figure 11–7 A Versatile Style of Problem Solving
    There are several important points to remember concerning styles of problem solving:
    1.All problem solving involves four steps—having experiences, reflecting on results, building
    theories, taking action—and each step must be performed well for overall effectiveness. For
    example, an independent businessperson with a Socrates style must take extra care to consider
    details as well as concepts, and should remember to get the facts before making decisions,
    even if this does not come naturally.
    2.It is possible to have a preference for more than one style of problem solving. For example,
    a person may be equally comfortable as a Henry Ford and a Socrates. Such a person relates to
    the world in both an experiential and a theoretical sense. In either case, this person shows a
    bias for action.
    3.When people with different styles of problem solving live or work together, tolerance of
    differences is required. A Ford manager must be patient with the seeming lack of effort put
    forth by an Einstein employee, and a Socrates wife must try to understand her Darwin
    husband’s preference for having experiences and reflecting on results over forming ideas and
    applying knowledge. Appreciation of the characteristics and needs of each type of person can
    go a long way toward improving relationships and increasing performance.
    4.Most people have difficulty changing their styles of problem solving. This can be seen in
    school when a Henry Ford student fails or drops out. Often the cause is the nature of the
    curriculum and the style of instruction versus the ability of the student. The functional
    practitioner, who wants to apply knowledge and accomplish tangible results, may have
    difficulty relating to book reading and theoretical discussion.
    An organization or a group needs all four styles of problem solving. A balance of basic
    research, theoretical science, applied science, and functional practice helps maximize individual
    as well as group performance. Consider the following story:
    Fred was a successful research chemist when he suffered a heart attack. During his stay in the
    hospital, his work was performed by younger employees. Like many large organizations, Fred’s
    company was rich in talent, and others were qualified to do his job.
    When Fred recovered and returned to work, he retained his title, his office was the same, and
    his income was unchanged. However, he had lost a significant part of his job—his duties were
    now make-work assignments, while important responsibilities and decision making were handled
    by others. Whereas Fred had been physically ill before, he now became depressed, and his
    overall health began to deteriorate. Fred had been placed on the shelf, and he knew it.
    At that time, Fred’s company began research and development on a new product, and the
    “Problem-Solving Styles” questionnaire was used to create a balanced team. On the team was a
    theoretical scientist, who could write formulas from wall to wall but whom few could
    understand. This was the Einstein. Also on the team was an applied scientist, who could
    understand the Einstein’s ideas and who knew how to bridge the gap between thinking and
    doing. The team had a Socrates. The team also had a Ford, who was known for his practical
    nature. He was a goal-oriented person with the ability to produce results. What was missing on
    the new product team was a Darwin, a basic scientist, who would be sure that all the facts were
    gathered and all the data were considered. Fred was chosen to be the team’s Darwin.
    Within a year, the team developed one of the company’s most successful products. A year
    after that, Fred’s wife phoned him at work. By accident, she reached his boss. She said: “Oh, Mr.
    Johnson, I have been wanting to talk to you for so long. I have wanted to thank you . . . for
    giving my Fred back to me.”130
    Fred’s story shows how the needs of the individual and the needs of the organization are
    interwoven and how both can be met by creating a balanced team incorporating all four styles of
    problem solving.
    Leader as Team Builder
    Teamwork is essential for group success. The testimony of basketball star Michael Jordan, a
    superb individual contributor, is instructive for people in all fields of work: “One thing I believe
    to the fullest is that if you think and behave as a team, the individual accolades will take care of
    themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”131
    Leaders in every endeavor know the power of the team concept for achieving results.
    Effective leaders value teamwork as a virtue, and they demonstrate this by their own efforts as
    team builders and champions of the group.132
    A role model for team building and coaching to succeed is Pat Summitt, former head coach of
    the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team (1974 2012), with eight NCAA
    championships and the highest winning percentage (.840) of any men’s or women’s college
    basketball program in history. Summitt had both a love for the sport and a passion for developing
    others. She said she enjoyed practicing as much as the games, because teaching was her “real
    The Importance of Hiring and Developing Winners
    The task of the leader is to recruit and develop team members who can perform successfully in
    the type of sport (or business) and level of league (or competition) they are in. Winning
    performance is A and B levels, not C, D, or F, for every team member, as well as for the leader
    her- or himself.
    This simple principle is employed by every successful athletic coach, yet it is too often
    overlooked by the leader in the workplace. The result is inadequate performance—loss of
    product, people, and profit—and, inevitably, replacement of the leader.
    What can the leader do? The answer is to commit to excellence and model this ideal
    personally. The leader must follow the dictum “Hire the best and develop the rest.” The
    successful leader hires the best talent available (A and B players), then trains and develops all
    other personnel to perform at A and B levels.
    What happens to individuals who cannot or will not perform at A and B levels? For the sake
    of customers and co-workers and ultimately themselves, they are reassigned. The caring leader
    considers the interests of all, knowing effective performance is required and the individual may
    be better suited for another sport or field of work. As difficult or unpleasant as the task may be,
    action must be taken.134
    A cautionary note is in order about the practice of labeling people in a group or an
    organization as winners and losers and using a required distribution of ratings to reflect this. An
    example is Enron’s “rank and yank” system of putting employees in one of five categories: 5
    percent superior, 30 percent excellent, 30 percent strong, 20 percent satisfactory, and 15 percent
    need improvement. First, using labels can be perceived as cavalier and lazy management.
    Second, inaccurate rankings can destroy motivation and reduce future performance. Third, a low
    ranking can become a self-fulfilling prophecy for those being labeled. Fourth, requiring a
    percentage of group members to be rated lower than others in the group works against cohesion,
    teamwork, and ultimately effectiveness. Fifth, such ranking systems can lead to lawsuits. For
    example, employees with Microsoft, Ford, and Conoco have filed lawsuits claiming that ranking
    systems are biased toward some groups over others. Ford eventually eliminated its forced
    distribution system and paid over $10 million to the litigants.135
    Most importantly, imagine how counterproductive a required distribution of performance
    rankings would be on any high-performance athletic team in its era of greatness—UConn
    Women’s basketball, New England Patriots, Chicago Bulls, U.S. women’s soccer team, for
    example. How long will the team be successful if certain percentages of its members are required
    to be labeled A, B, C, D, or F, relative to each other regardless of individual performance?
    Leaders should evaluate performance case by case, using good judgment, rather than an artificial
    distribution of rankings.136
    How to Create a High-Performance Team
    In their book The Orange Revolution, authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton write, “Here’s
    what geniuses do: They build great teams.” The authors cite no less a role model than Thomas
    Edison: “The lightbulb was invented by a small team that worked tirelessly until Edison’s vision
    was realized. Edison’s approach was to assemble small teams of people who possessed high
    levels of knowledge and character, a desire to work, and a commitment to excellence. He then
    gave them a goal and didn’t interfere with their progress. He reinforced success with support,
    recognition, and good cheer. The team members became engrossed with their work, and
    eventually breakthroughs occurred.”137
    Effective leaders understand that all the individual competence in the world will not result in
    a high-performance team. An essential component of success is the leader’s ability to create a
    spirit of cooperation and a one-team attitude. Team leadership is important from the research lab
    to the fashion industry. A study of almost two thousand research publications shows that the
    percentage of journal articles written by teams has increased substantially over the past five
    decades.138 Executive Rose Marie Bravo of Burberry, the London fashion house, explains the
    importance of teams: “It isn’t one person. It is a whole group of people working cohesively
    towards a goal that makes something happen or not.”139
    Leading a group is like conducting an orchestra. Orchestras are divided into sections:
    woodwind, brass, strings, and percussion. Each section has a lead player—first violinist, first
    clarinetist, and so on. This is the orchestra’s executive team. In a similar way, organizations have
    subgroups: engineering, production, sales, accounting, and so on. Senior leaders of these
    functions are the organization’s executive team. Neither the orchestra nor the organization will
    achieve success unless its sections and personnel work well together. It’s the task of leadership to
    make this happen. From the orchestra pit to the factory floor, the best leaders develop successful
    teams by following 11 time-tested practices:
    1. Show enthusiasm for the work of the group. The leader’s emotion ignites and energizes
    the team.
    2. Make timely decisions based on agreed-upon goals. In this way, leaders show
    decisiveness and consistency.
    3. Promote open-mindedness, innovation, and creativity by personal example and a
    conducive work climate.
    4. Admit mistakes and uncertainties, modeling honesty as a virtue.
    5. Be flexible in using a variety of tactics and strategies to achieve success.
    6. Have persistence and lasting power, never giving up on hope or effort.
    7. Give credit to others for the team’s accomplishments, meeting people’s needs for
    appreciation and recognition. Author John Maxwell says that the good leader takes more
    than his or her share of the blame and less than his or her share of the credit.
    8. Keep people informed about progress and problems, celebrating victories and fine-tuning
    9. Keep promises and follow through on commitments, earning the trust and confidence of
    10. Train for success; master fundamentals and practice for perfection.
    11. Put others first and self last, embodying the spirit of the caring leader.140
    Research shows why some teams are successful and others are not. One study evaluated a
    number of high-performance teams, including national champion sports teams, musical groups,
    heart transplant surgical teams, the crew of the USS Kitty Hawk, and others, to determine the
    characteristics that make them successful. Eight characteristics were always present:
    1. A clear, elevating goal.
    2. A results-driven structure.
    3. Competent team members.
    4. Unified commitment.
    5. A collaborative climate.
    6. Standards of excellence.
    7. External support and recognition.
    8. Principled leadership.
    When any one feature is lost, team performance declines. The most frequent cause of team
    failure is letting personal or political agendas take precedence over clear and elevating team
    Virtual Teams
    The use of virtual teams is a growing trend. Virtual teams are teams whose members operate
    across space, time, and organizational boundaries and are linked through information
    technologies to achieve organizational tasks. Some virtual teams operate across a city; others
    operate across countries, cultures, and time zones. One reason virtual teams have become so
    widespread is that e-mail, instant messaging, and web conferencing have made it easier than ever
    to communicate and coordinate with people at a distance. It is interesting to see how the Internet
    is being used by the United Nations to impact community engagement projects both within and
    across cultures.142
    The Conference Board reports five requirements for global teams to work: senior
    management leadership support, the effective use of communication technology, an organization
    structure that supports global operations, trust and respect among team members, and the ability
    to capitalize on the strengths of diverse cultures, languages, and people.143
    Information technology makes virtual teams possible, but knowledge management and
    globalization make them increasingly necessary. Virtual teams operate best with structured tasks
    requiring only moderate levels of task interdependence. Complex and ambiguous tasks require
    an enormous amount of intense dialogue and are better suited to nonvirtual teams.144
    Many teams use a combination of virtual and nonvirtual interaction. When IBM formed a
    virtual team to build a customer-access system for Shell, employees from both firms began with
    an “all hands” face-to-face gathering to assist the teamwork process. The two firms also made a
    rule that dispersed team members should have face-to-face contact at least once every six weeks
    throughout the project.145
    A point to remember is that teams need meaningful face time even when doing virtual work
    across space and time. For example, at Lucasfilm Ltd., the creator of Star Wars, Lucas staffers
    across the board say the type of collaboration required wouldn’t be possible if they hadn’t been
    brought under the same roof. In an era of extreme telecommuting, when companies are rolling
    out expensive high-definition videoconferencing systems, even the highest-tech employees say
    there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction for their team-oriented projects if world-class
    work is the goal.146
    Research shows that when forming virtual teams, it is helpful to include a few members who
    already know each other, other members who are well connected to people outside the team, and,
    when possible, members who have volunteered to be part of the team. It is also helpful to have
    an online site where members can learn more about each other and the kinds of work they are
    doing, as well as an online workspace that team members can access around the clock.147
    Deciding When to Use a Team Approach
    A team approach usually works best when
    1. Group acceptance is necessary for effective implementation.
    2. Knowledge and skill from more than one person are needed to make the best decision or
    3. Group members possess specific information, problem-solving expertise, and group
    process skills.
    4. There is sufficient time to meet as a group, discuss alternatives, and agree on a course of
    5. The highest-quality or most effective solution is desired.
    An individual approach usually works best when
    1. A decision involves a routine or simple task.
    2. Group members are already in agreement.
    3. Consensus or buy-in is not important.
    4. Immediate action is required; there is no time for discussion.
    Stages in the Life of a Group
    Regardless of size or type, a group typically goes through predictable stages over time. Figure
    11–8 is an illustration of four stages in the life of a group, as described by Glenn Parker and Roy
    Lacoursiere.148 By understanding these stages, including major issues, typical member behavior,
    and effective leadership actions at each stage, the leader can help a group move quickly to the
    high-morale high-performance status of an effective team.
    Figure 11–8 Stages in the Life of a Group
    Stage I—Forming. In the start-up stage, the group is formed, but its purpose and members’
    expectations are unclear. This stage incorporates all the discomfort and apprehension found in
    any new social situation. It is characterized by caution and tentative steps to test the water.
    Individuals try to determine acceptable behavior and the nature of the group’s task, as well as
    how to deal with each other to get work done. Interactions are superficial and tend to be directed
    toward the formal leader. Skills and knowledge as a team are undeveloped. See Table 11–1.
    Table 11–1 Forming
    Major Issue Is Development of Trust, Including Answers to These Questions:
    1. What is going to happen?
    2. Who is who in the group?
    3. Where do I fit in the group?
    4. How will I be treated?
    Member Behavior Is Characterized By
    1. Anxiety.
    2. Search for structure.
    3. Silence.
    4. Caution with leader and other group members.
    Leaders Can Reduce Uncertainty By
    1. Explaining purpose and goals.
    2. Providing time for questions.
    3. Allowing time for members to get to know each other.
    4. Modeling expected behaviors.
    Tension is high; trust is low.
    Stage II—Storming. The initial stage of forming is followed by a period of storming. In this
    stage, individuals react to what has to be done, question authority, and feel increasingly
    comfortable being themselves. This stage can be characterized by conflict and resistance to the
    group’s task and structure, even as productivity begins to increase as skills and knowledge
    develop. Group members express concerns and frustrations, and feel fairly free to exchange
    ideas. Members learn to deal with differences to work together to meet the group’s goals. A
    group that doesn’t get through this stage successfully is marked by divisiveness and low
    creativity. See Table 11–2.
    Table 11–2 Storming
    Major Issue Is Increased Conflict From
    1. Openly dealing with problems.
    2. Increasing group interaction.
    3. Power struggles for influence.
    4. Increasing independence from leader.
    Member Behavior Is Characterized By
    1. Confrontation with the leader.
    2. Polarization of team members.
    3. Testing of group tolerance.
    4. Fight-or-flight behavior.
    Leaders Can Reduce Conflict By
    1. Hearing all points of view.
    2. Acknowledging conflict as opportunity for improvement.
    3. Adhering to core values, such as truth, trust, and respect.
    4. Staying focused on the goal.
    Tension is high; trust is low.
    Stage III—Norming. The stage of storming is usually followed by a third stage in the life of a
    group, a period of norming. In this stage, norms of behavior are developed that are considered
    necessary for the group to accomplish its task. These norms can be explicit or implicit. In any
    case, a greater degree of order begins to prevail and a sense of group cohesion develops.
    Members now identify with the group and develop customary ways for resolving conflict,
    making decisions, and completing assignments. In this stage, members typically enjoy meetings
    and freely exchange information. Productivity continues to increase as group skills and
    knowledge further develop. See Table 11–3.
    Table 11–3 Norming
    Major Issue Is Development of Norms For
    1. Team member behavior.
    2. Decision-making processes.
    3. Resolving differences.
    4. Leadership behavior.
    Member Behavior Is Characterized by Shift From
    1. Power struggle to affiliation.
    2. Confusion to clarity.
    3. Personal advantage to group success.
    4. Detachment to involvement.
    Leaders Can Encourage Norm Development By
    1. Modeling listening skills.
    2. Fostering an atmosphere of trust.
    3. Teaching and facilitating consensus.
    4. Providing team-centered learning.
    Tension is medium; trust is medium.
    Stage IV—Performing. Stage III is usually followed by a fourth stage, performing. This is the
    payoff stage in the life of a group. People are able to focus their energies on the task, having
    worked through issues of membership, purpose, structure, and roles. The group is now focused
    on solving problems and completing tasks. Members take initiative, and their efforts emphasize
    results. As the group achieves significant milestones, morale goes up and people have positive
    feelings about each other and the accomplishments of the group. The group is no longer
    dependent solely on the leader for direction and support; instead, each member takes on
    leadership roles as necessary. At this stage, the group shows the characteristics of an effective
    team. See Table 11–4.
    Table 11–4 Performing
    Major Issue Is Group Performance, Including
    1. Using a wide range of task and process behaviors.
    2. Monitoring and taking pride in group accomplishments.
    3. Focusing on goals as well as interpersonal needs.
    4. Maintaining the values and norms of the group.
    Member Behavior Is Characterized By
    1. Interpersonal trust and mutual respect.
    2. Active resolution of conflict.
    3. Active participation.
    4. Personal commitment to the success of the group.
    Leaders Can Help the Group Succeed By
    1. Being prepared for temporary setbacks.
    2. Focusing on task accomplishments and interpersonal support.
    3. Providing feedback on the work of the group.
    4. Promoting and representing the group.
    Tension is low; trust is high.
    It is helpful to view each of the stages in the life of a group from two points of view. The first
    is interpersonal relationships. The group moves through predictable stages of testing and
    dependency (forming), tension and conflict (storming), building cohesion (norming), and finally,
    establishing functional role relationships (performing). Each stage focuses on problems inherent
    in developing relationships among group members.
    At the same time, the group is struggling with accomplishing tasks. The initial stage focuses
    on task definition and the exchange of information (forming). This is followed by discussion and
    conflict over the task (storming). Next comes a period of sharing interpretations and perspectives
    (norming). Finally, a stage of effective group performance is reached (performing).149
    Avoiding Groupthink
    As important and effective as teams can be, there are also potential problems, the first of which
    is social loafing. Social loafers do not contribute to group effort because they do not feel they
    will reap individual rewards, nor will they have to suffer individual blame.150 A second potential
    problem is groupthink, a term coined by William H. Whyte Jr. in 1952.
    As a group settles on norms of behavior in stage III and into a mode of performance in stage
    IV, there is a risk of falling into a pattern of groupthink. This is a well-documented pitfall in
    group dynamics described by psychologist Irving Janis in Victims of Groupthink. Janis defined
    groupthink as “a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a
    cohesive group, and when the members’ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to
    realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” Groupthink is an important concept for a
    leader to understand.151
    When people meet in groups, they are often under strong pressure to conform to the majority
    view. When they don’t conform, they risk being isolated or cast aside. In such situations, people
    may make errors in judgment and conduct based on a desire to preserve group harmony and to
    continue to be accepted by the group and its leader.
    Janis describes additional factors that when combined with cohesiveness can foster
    groupthink. These factors are (1) a highly insulated group with restricted access to external
    information and (2) a stressful decision-making context, such as that brought on by budgetary
    crises, external pressure, or a history of recent setbacks. As a result of the trilogy of group
    cohesiveness, isolation, and stress, a group can arrive at decisions that are unsuccessful and
    possibly even catastrophic.152
    Janis describes eight symptoms that can give a group early warning that groupthink may be
    present. The following is a description of these symptoms, with cases in history to illustrate their
    1. Illusion of invulnerability. A feeling of power and authority is important to any
    decision-making group. It gives members confidence that they will be able to carry
    through on any decisions reached. However, if they come to believe that every decision
    they reach will automatically be successful, then they become prey to an illusion of
    invulnerability. Janis showed that American military leaders had this illusion in choosing
    not to fortify Pearl Harbor more heavily prior to the disastrous attack bythe Japanese that
    led to U.S. entry into World War II.
    2. Belief in the inherent morality of the group. People want to believe in the rightness of
    their actions. In the extreme, this can lead to exhortations that “God is on our side.” Such
    claims fulfill an important function—they relieve responsibility for justifying decisions
    according to rational procedures. People do this as a way to protect self-esteem.
    3. Rationalization. When a final decision is reached, it is normal to downplay the
    drawbacks of the chosen course. The problem in a group arises when legitimate
    objections exist, but they are overshadowed by the perceived negative reaction to anyone
    who voices those objections. Key engineers in the NASA Challenger decision ultimately
    withdrew their objections to the ill-fated launch, not because of any correction in the
    admittedly problematic O-rings, but rather, because they rationalized the risk of
    catastrophic launch failure as only “possible,” while the risk of censure and ostracism for
    continuing to speak out against the launch became a virtual certainty.
    4. Stereotypes of out-groups. President Truman and his advisors fell victim to the
    temptation to falsely characterize enemy groups in 1950 with the decision to cross the
    38th parallel, a line drawn by the Chinese Communists as a “line in the sand” between
    North and South Korea. The decision was made despite repeated warnings from
    Communist China that to do so would be viewed as a declaration of war by the United
    States on China. How could Truman and his advisors have so seriously misinterpreted the
    Chinese warnings? The decision was based largely on a false stereotype of the Chinese
    Communists as being weak and dominated by Russia, which, it was believed, did not
    want war. The stereotype proved false, and the Korean “police action” became a
    resounding failure as the Chinese attacked with massive force.
    5. Self-censorship. As one of the principles on which our country was founded, the ability
    to express oneself without censorship has always been highly valued. It has also been
    considered a healthy safeguard against group coercion in our work lives. But the fact is,
    the most common form of censorship is the one we commit on ourselves under the guise
    of group loyalty, team spirit, or adherence to company policy.The decision by President
    Kennedy and his advisors to send a band of Cuban exiles into the Bay of Pigs has been
    ranked as the greatest foreign policy mistake of the Kennedy administration. The day
    after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, JFK said, “How could I have been so stupid?” The answer is
    that Kennedy and his advisors suppressed their doubts, censoring themselves to make the
    operative belief seem like the truth.
    6. Direct pressure. Pressure on group members can surface in many forms. The net effect
    is the same: Group members are encouraged to keep dissident views to themselves. As
    one example, Janis reported that during Watergate, “Nixon time and again let everyone in
    the group know which policy he favored, and he did not encourage open inquiry.”
    Another example involves the Challenger disaster. Several engineers made the
    recommendation to postpone the Challenger launch. According to the Rogers
    Commission report, certain group members responded with direct pressure on those
    engineers to alter their views, with statements such as “I’m appalled that they could
    arrive at the recommendation” and “At that rate, it could be spring before the shuttle
    would fly.”Groupthink mentality occurred again with the space
    shuttle Columbia. Management ignored safety warnings from engineers about probable
    technical problems. The Columbia accident investigation board recommended a change
    in NASA’s “culture of invincibility.”
    7. Mindguards. A bodyguard is someone charged with the protection of another person’s
    physical well-being. In groupthink, a corollary entity may surface to protect the group
    from disturbing thoughts and ideas—a mindguard. Interestingly, such mindguards
    typically perform their function not within the group itself but far from the confines of
    group discussion. Data, facts, and opinions that might bear directly on the group are
    deliberately kept out of the group’s purview. Generally, this is done with a variety of
    justifiable intentions—time is running short, a regular member will summarize for the
    group, and, not pertinent and perhaps saddest of all, the group has already made up its
    8. Illusion of unanimity. Finally, the rationalizations, psychological pressures, and
    mindguards have their effect—the group coalesces around a decision. Drawbacks are
    downplayed, and the invulnerability and morality of the final course are reinforced.
    Doubting group members may even feel that they have adequately put their own fears to
    rest. More likely, it is simply the sense of relief that the struggle has come to an end. An
    illusion of unanimity sets in.
    In contrast to the destructive forces of groupthink, Janis describes a number of techniques that
    a leader can employ to help ensure a rational consideration of all available courses of action:
    1. The leader should assign the role of critical evaluator to each member, encouraging the
    group to give open airing of ideas, including objections and doubts. This practice should
    be reinforced by the leader’s acceptance of criticism of his or her own judgments.
    2. When charging a group with a task, the leader should adopt an impartial stance instead of
    stating personal opinions and preferences. This approach will encourage open discussion
    and impartial probing of a wide range of policy and problem-solving alternatives.
    3. The leader should set up outside evaluators to work on the same policy question. This
    tactic can prevent the group from being insulated from important information and
    4. When the agenda calls for evaluation of decision or policy alternatives, at least one
    member should play devil’s advocate, functioning as a lawyer in challenging the
    testimony of those who advocate for a position.
    5. After reaching a preliminary consensus about what seems to be the best policy or
    decision, the group should hold a “second chance” meeting, at which every member
    expresses as clearly as possible all residual doubts and rethinks the entire issue, before
    making a final decision.154
    Groupthink can occur at any time when people work and solve problems together. Don’t be
    afraid to point out the elephant in the room. It usually leads to initial stares followed by tension,
    relief, and clarity of issues. It is often accompanied by smiles and even laughter as a
    breakthrough has been achieved. This leads to an overall improvement in group performance.
    Group mistakes and even tragedies can be averted by the leader who understands the eight
    symptoms of groupthink and employs the five techniques to prevent it.155
    Team-Building Interventions and Techniques
    There are many approaches to team building. The most common is for members of a group to
    develop and grow together over the normal course of time as the team responds to challenges and
    successfully performs its natural functions. Consider this example:
    From time to time, the tribe gathered in a circle. They just talked and talked and talked, apparently to no purpose.
    They made no decisions. And everybody could participate. There may have been wise men or wise women who
    were listened to a bit more—the older ones—but everybody could talk. The meeting went on, until it finally seemed
    to stop for no reason at all and the group dispersed. Yet after that, everybody seemed to know what to do because
    they understood each other so well. Then they could get together in smaller groups and do something or decide
    Team building can be enhanced by experiential strategies and activities. Educational
    workshops in retreat settings are increasingly popular. This off-site format focuses on topics such
    as communication, teamwork, characteristics of effective groups, positive versus negative group
    member roles, and workshop/labs to improve team performance—goal setting, values
    clarification, problem solving, decision making, and the like.157
    Some organizations use adventure and challenge experiences that can be quite effective at
    building relationships, developing group identity, and increasing team pride. These interventions
    are usually conducted in field settings and involve a range of activities that include “ground”
    experiences, or low-course initiatives, to build team spirit and skills, and “ropes,” or high-course
    challenges, that build individual confidence and pride. There are many varieties of challenges,
    including rafting, rowing, and riding.158 For team building to be a valuable use of time and
    resources, it is important to connect off-site experiences to on-the-job application.159
    One of the best ways to develop and sustain team effectiveness is to meet in a conducive
    atmosphere, free of interruptions, and discuss important issues. Meaningful questions include the
    1. Where have we been? What forces and events have brought us to this point?
    2. Where are we now? What are our current “prouds” and “sorries”? What are our strengths,
    weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
    3. What is our purpose or mission? What is our reason for existence?
    4. What should be our goals? What should we accomplish to fulfill our mission?
    5. What are our values? What principles should guide us in moral dilemmas?
    6. Who are our stakeholders? Who cares about our work and what will it mean to them
    when we are successful?
    7. What should be our strategy? What initiatives should we have to accomplish our goals
    and achieve our mission? What strategic, measurable, action-oriented, and timely projects
    and activities should we undertake?
    8. What are the critical factors that define success? How do we know what great
    performance looks like?
    9. How should we work together to fulfill our potential? What should we continue doing,
    start doing, or stop doing? How should we monitor progress? Who should do what by
    The reality is that positive attitudes and behaviors developed in away-from-work settings may
    not be fully implemented back on the job. The timing, tasks, and team dynamics may be a poor
    match. This doesn’t mean positive attitudes and behaviors that are developed can’t be utilized
    some other place or some other time. It is analogous to learning leadership principles in an
    educational venue that can be practiced best at a time and place when conditions are conducive.
    Exercise 11–3 is an easy-to-use and highly effective exercise for team building. It is a
    variation of Kurt Lewin’s famous force field theory for improving team performance. A good
    approach would be to have individuals complete the exercise alone and then work as a group to
    develop and improve team effectiveness. When the team works as a group, follow seven good
    rules: Start and stop on time; one person talks at a time; every idea is given a hearing; honesty is
    the best policy; listen to understand; stay on task; and give your best efforts.
    Exercise 11–3Team Excelle nce161
    Answer the following questions, first individually, then as a group.
    To operate as a team, what do we need?
    What should we continue doing?
    What should we start doing?
    What should we stop doing?
    How should we monitor our progress?
    Actions to be taken, including who should do what by when, are as follows:
    Force Field Analysis
    Kurt Lewin said, “If you really want to understand something, try to change it.” He developed
    force field analysis as a tool that can be used to gain a better understanding of organizational
    change. Stronger drivers and barriers to change are represented by longer lines; weaker drivers
    and barriers to change are represented by shorter lines. Figure 11–9 is an example of a force field
    analysis for a company safety program.
    Figure 11–9 Company Safety Program
    The first step in a force field analysis is to graphically depict the current state. The second
    step is to formulate strategies to increase the drivers or reduce the barriers to change. Leaders
    will often get better results if they focus on reducing barriers, rather than increasing the number
    or size of the drivers for change. The third step is to implement change initiatives. Force field
    analysis can be used to address a change initiative in your organization. What would you
    recommend to increase driving forces or reduce barriers to a change initiative based on force
    field analysis?162
    Appreciative Inquiry
    A positive and popular approach to team building is appreciative inquiry, developed at Case
    Western Reserve University. It is particularly popular with public sector organizations seeking to
    capitalize on best practices in local, regional, state, and federal government. This technique
    emphasizes building on strengths and gaining commitment through participation.163
    Appreciative inquiry typically uses a “Four-D” model or process. The first D is Discovery, or
    identifying the best of “What is.” Positive experiences, success stories, and best practices are
    shared. The second D is Dreaming, or imagining “What could be.” Open discussion and
    nonjudgmental listening are important. The third D is Designing, or “What should be.” It
    includes collective dialogue and agreement on a direction and course of action. The fourth D is
    Delivering “What will be.” It involves action steps to achieve specific objectives.164 An example
    of using appreciative inquiry is provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC):
    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) needed more innovative programming to reverse declining audience
    numbers, but employees complained that the radio, television, and Internet broadcaster did not provide a creative
    work environment. To discover how to become more creative, the company sponsored an appreciative inquiry
    process of employee consultation, called Just Imagine. More than 10,000 employees (about 40 percent of BBC’s
    workforce) participated in 200 meetings held over six months. At each meeting, employees were paired to ask each
    other three questions: (1) What has been the most creative/valued experience in your time at the BBC? (2) What
    were the conditions that made that experience possible? (3) If those experiences were to become the norm, how
    would the BBC have to change? The pairs then discussed their interview results in teams of 10 people, and the most
    powerful stories were shared with others at the meeting. These meetings produced 98,000 ideas, which boiled down
    to 15,000 unique suggestions and ultimately 35 concrete initiatives. The BBC’s executive publicized the results and
    immediately implemented several recommendations, such as a job swapping and a newcomer orientation program.
    Greg Dyke, BBC’s respected director-general at the time, commented that the appreciative inquiry process provided
    valuable guidance. “It gave me a powerful mandate for change,” he stated. “I could look staff in the eye and say,
    ‘This is what you told us you wanted.’ ”165
    The Role of the Leader in the Team Concept
    It is true that good teams can boost productivity and accomplish the seemingly impossible. It is
    also true that poor teams reduce effectiveness and generally create problems. Is there something
    that can be done to ensure team success? Research shows that success is enhanced if an
    organization understands and effectively manages five team processes:166
    1. Buy-in—how the work of the team is legitimized and goals are set.
    2. Accountability—how individual and team performance is managed and rewarded.
    3. Learning—how performance is improved and skills developed.
    4. Infrastructure—how the work of the team is systemized and resources accessed.
    5. Partnering—how people interact and work together to achieve success on the team and
    across organizational units.
    A key factor in all five team processes is leadership. Teams perform most successfully when
    they have a leader who facilitates the work of the group to accomplish buy-in—agreement on
    direction; accountability—clarity of assignments; learning—the development of
    members; infrastructure—the allocation of resources; and partnering—a supportive work
    climate. The most effective team leaders are caring individuals who have a passion for the work
    and a concern for people.167
    In Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock describes how in 2002, Google decided to eliminate managers
    from its engineering operations. Craig Silverstein, the company’s first employee hired after its
    co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, says, “We were of the attitude, ‘Who needs managers?
    They never add any value.’” The experiment with a manager-free engineering operation didn’t
    last long. “We realized managers actually serve a purpose, resolving conflicts and answering
    questions. It was a revelation to see engineers asking for more management,” says Silverstein.168
    Even organizations that deplore hierarchy recognize the importance of leadership. The video
    game company Valve states the following in its handbook for employees: “We don’t have any
    management, and nobody reports to anybody else. You work on what interests you. The desks sit
    on wheels, so if you want to change projects, you unplug, roll across the office and plug back
    in.” Yet Valve has leaders who help coordinate projects. Cameron Anderson, a psychologist at
    the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, explains: It’s useful to
    have at least one person who serves the role of leader, even if that role is more of a coordinating
    Organizations can empower their people and improve performance through the use of teams,
    but successful teams require effective leadership. For optimum results, a designated leader
    should coordinate the group, advocate for the team across the organization, access needed
    resources and processes, and ensure that results are supported by, and meaningful to, the
    The Team Concept in Business Today: The Cisco Case
    Over 100 years ago, businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie wrote, “Teamwork is the
    fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Today, technology giant Cisco is
    actively and strategically applying this maxim.
    As the Internet was radically changing how people live and work, new opportunities were
    emerging in many areas. Cisco president and CEO John Chambers knew that the Internet’s and
    Cisco’s rapid growth had increased the difficulty for one top person to review new ideas, gather
    information, and make timely decisions. For Cisco to continue to grow, he reasoned, it needed to
    be more nimble and bring more products to market faster—in short, to innovate with speed.
    Chambers saw collaborative teams as the solution and designed a new, broader, and more
    inclusive system in which decision-making responsibility is pushed deeper into the organization.
    The new configuration includes an operating committee of 11 people—Chambers plus other top
    executives; several councils that manage $10 billion projects; boards that handle $1 billion
    opportunities; and working groups that support the councils and boards and perform other
    activities. The teams are cross-functional, interdepartmental, and even transnational. Each is
    organized around promising initiatives or product lines; other teams can spring up at the drop of
    a hat when needed. In the new company, to not share what you know is unacceptable, so few
    turn down an invitation to collaborate.171
    Chambers says collaborative technologies permit almost instant access to information and
    other people, providing new ways to interact. Cisco promotes all types of social networking:
    blogs, videos, and even an internal “My Cisco” system that employees use as an internal
    Facebook network. There, employees can share what they have learned and provide details about
    their expertise.
    To help teamwork flourish, Cisco uses a telepresence system where there are no delays in
    transmission and the video quality is sharp, clear, lifelike, and life-size. Individuals and teams in
    different locations can communicate live and in real time so that the people taking part, no matter
    where they are, feel they are in the same room. For example, Chambers is able to participate in
    meetings with employees and teams in India, Japan, Cleveland, and London in less than four
    hours, saving tremendous time and travel cost.172
    Initially, not everyone embraced the new teamwork structure. The old Cisco sported a
    “cowboy culture,” with leaders competing aggressively for resources. Nearly 20 percent of them
    left the company, deciding they couldn’t work under Chambers’s new setup. Leaders now share
    responsibility for each other’s success. They are measured on how well they collaborate and are
    compensated on how well all businesses perform, not just their own unit.173
    Team Dynamics
    There are many kinds of teams in a workplace, including management committees that integrate
    activities across functional groups, work groups that produce goods and provide services,
    advisory councils that make recommendations, and project teams that perform tasks. Team
    dynamics impact the success of all groups.
    In his popular book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni provides an excellent
    model for understanding team dynamics. He identifies five dysfunctions that are lethal for team
    success. The first is absence of trust, resulting in self-protective behavior. The second is fear of
    conflict, resulting in superficial and guarded comments. The third is lack of
    commitment, including feigned support for team decisions. The fourth is avoidance of
    accountability, leading to lack of ownership for individual actions. The fifth is inattention to
    results, evidenced by team members putting personal interest above the goals of the team.
    Teamwork deteriorates if even a single dysfunction is allowed to flourish.
    In contrast, members of highly effective teams (1) trust one another, because the leader
    creates a safe environment that rewards honesty of thoughts and feelings; (2) engage in unfiltered
    conflict around ideas, because the leader allows conflict to surface and allows time and space for
    resolution to occur; (3) commit to decisions and plans of action, because the leader is willing to
    be wrong, pushes for closure around issues, and requires adherence to schedules; (4) hold one
    another accountable, because the leader encourages the team to be the primary accountability
    mechanism but does not hesitate to be the final arbiter of discipline if the team fails; and (5)
    focus on the achievement of collective results, because the leader models and reinforces team
    success over individual interests.174
    In 2009, author James Collins wrote a research-based book titled How the Mighty Fall. The
    contrast he describes between teams on the way down and teams on the way up provides
    excellent guidance for leading teams (see Table 11–5). Teams on the way up address the truth,
    use evidence-based problem solving, emphasize two-way communication, have a one-team
    attitude, show mutual respect, are cause-focused, are learning-centered, and accept
    Table 11–5 Team Dynamics: On the Way Down versus on the Way Up
    Teams on the Way Down
    People shield those in power from
    grim facts, fearful of penalty and
    criticism for shining light on the harsh
    People assert strong opinions without
    providing data, evidence, or a solid
    The team leader has a very low
    questions-to-statements ratio,
    avoiding critical input and/or allowing
    sloppy reasoning and unsupported
    Team members acquiesce to a
    decision yet do not unify to make the
    decision successful or, worse,
    undermine the decision after the fact.
    Team members seek as much credit
    as possible for themselves yet do not
    enjoy the confidence and admiration
    of their peers.
    Team members argue to look smart or
    to improve their own interests rather
    than argue to find the best answers to
    support the overall cause.
    Teams on the Way Up
    Address the truth: People bring forth unpleasant
    facts-“Come here, look, man, this is ugly”-to be
    discussed; leaders never criticize those who bring
    forth harsh realities.
    Use evidence-based problem solving: People
    bring data, evidence, logic, and solid arguments to
    the discussion.
    Emphasize two-way communication: The team
    leader employs a Socratic style, using a high
    question-to-statements ratio, challenging people,
    and pushing for penetrating insight.
    Have a one-team attitude: Team members unify
    behind a decision once made and work to make
    the decision succeed, even if they vigorously
    disagreed with the decision.
    Show mutual respect: Each team member credits
    other people for success yet enjoys the confidence
    and admiration of his or her peers.
    Are cause-focused: Team members argue and
    debate, not to improve their personal position but
    to find the best answers to support the overall
    Are learning-centered: The team conducts
    “autopsies without blame,” mining wisdom from
    painful experiences.
    The team conducts “autopsies with
    blame,” seeking culprits rather than
    Team members often fail to deliver
    exceptional results and blame other
    people or outside factors for setbacks,
    mistakes, and failures.
    Accept responsibility: Each team member delivers
    exceptional results, yet in the event of a setback,
    each accepts full responsibility and learns from
    The Human Side of Team Effectiveness
    Research continues on the subject of team effectiveness. In 2012, Google launched a study, code
    name Project Aristotle, to learn why some teams stumbled and others soared. Were team
    members similar or diverse, did members socialize away from work, how often did they meet,
    did educational background matter, did celebrating birthdays help, and so on? One strong pattern
    emerged: Psychological safety, more than anything else, is critical to team success. On good
    teams, people feel free to speak in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon referred to as
    “equality in the distribution of conversational turn-taking.” When everyone is encouraged to talk,
    the team does well. Also, good teams have high “average social sensitivity,” meaning members
    are aware and considerate of the feelings and needs of others. Members of successful teams score
    above average on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test, a popular psychological assessment of
    non verbal communication. Google found that when psychological safety is present, the sum will

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