Team Collaboration Reloaded

“Today’s business and social goals can’t be accomplished by any one of us alone. Our success depends on each other.” While that’s probably no news to you, it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves of it. How many teams or organizations make a wholehearted effort to live up to this evident truth?

Clearly, some do. Look at Fast Company’s current “The 50 most innovate companies” list to see impressive accomplishments in a wide range of B2B and consumer markets. Not one of these 50 examples is the result of a single mastermind. It’s teamwork.

In recent years, the evidence-based paradigm has also started to influence organizational research about what enables teams to be high-performing. Take Google’s Management Effectiveness Project, the work that has come out of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, or  ideas from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory” about the science for building great teams.

I have been working with teams lucky enough to just magically get it right from the start – no conscious team-building effort required. But how often does that happen in your experience?

Most often, time-to-market pressure puts teams in crisis-mode. They scramble to meet steep goals – and focus on what they need to get done. No time to talk “team guidelines” and “how to build a collaborative culture”. But it’s those conversations that will help most real-world teams build a collaborative capacity that might put them in the same game with those teams on Fast Company’s list.

Other than hoping for the magic sparks of breakthrough thinking and off-the-chart-performance, there is really no magic bullet but to start a conversation on your team. Here is a team assessment tool that takes recent evidence-based team effectiveness findings into account, benchmarks your team against others, and provides concrete recommendations that will make a difference.

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