What makes up a great team


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In a recent Business901 Podcast, Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary, Geoff Bellman co-author of Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results discussed what makes a great team. Geoff discussed the 8 points that they found common in those teams and how you can use them to improve your chances of creating a extraordinary team.

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What makes up a great team

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast Transcription Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Guest was Geoff BellmanRelated Podcast: Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsGeoff Bellman and co-author Kathleen Ryan reveal in their bookExtraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve AmazingResults that people instinctively sense when a group experienceis something special, something different from the ordinary,something that surpasses their expectations in a positive,remarkable, and hard-to-describe way. Based on extensiveresearch, the book presents the Group Needs Model to helpanyone nurture extraordinary experiences in their groups andachieve outstanding results. Geoff has written six books, withover 300,000 in print and in a dozen languages. Geoff Bellman worked inside major corporations for fourteen years before starting his own consulting firm in 1977. His external consulting has focused on renewing large, mature corporations such as Booz Allen & Hamilton, U.S. Bancorp, Verizon, Intuit, Ernst & Young, Shell, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BP, SABMiller, Boeing, and Accenture. Geoff’s consulting and workshops have taken him to five continents. He has served as guest faculty for university graduate programsincluding Pepperdine, Fielding, Sonoma State, Seattle University,and Saybrook—LIOS. Linkage International’s “OD Lab forExperienced Practitioners” is designed around his ideas andoffered world-wide.Geoff recently received a national award from the OrganizationDevelopment Network for his contributions to advancing theprofession. And, he has been honored by the Whidbey Institutefor his work in the community. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Geoff Bellman. Geoffhas worked with large organizations for 40 years, 14 as aninternal consultant and manager, and 26 as an externalconsultant. He has written 6 books, with 300,000 in print, and ina dozen languages. His latest book, "Extraordinary Groups: HowOrdinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results", was published byJossey-Bass.Geoff, Id like to welcome you, and the title of your book justbegs me to ask the basic question: How would you define, ormaybe a better question would be, what makes a groupextraordinary?Geoff Bellman: Well, thank you for inviting me to be here onyour podcast, Joe. I was listening to you say a few words aboutme, and Im thinking, "God, this guy must be old." 40 years and6 books! Wow! And theres truth in that, I am old.The Extraordinary Groups piece, an interesting thing for me, thatties to your question is, when my co-author, Kathleen Ryan and Istarted working on writing a book together about teams, orgroups, or whatever, it took us a while before we decided, letswrite about really great groups.How are we going to find out what really great groups are? Well,lets go out into the marketplace, and talk with people who arepart of great groups by their own definition.So tied to your inquiry about whats an extraordinary group, wesaid, extraordinary groups in what weve written about and in ourfield study are defined by the people that are in them. Sobasically, to over simplify a little bit, we went to a wide array ofpeople and we said, "Have you ever been a part of a really greatgroup that just really moved you in lots of ways?" Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsA surprising thing to us was, Id guess 75, 80 percent of thepeople that we talked with said yes. And they loved it, and theproblem is with many of them, theyre not in a really great groupright now.But the short answer to your question is for us, anextraordinary group is one that achieves outstandingresults while the members of that group experience aprofound shift in how they see the world. And theemphasis being on that little three-letter word, see.This is not about new skills, these extraordinary groups. Theirskills look kind of like other groups around them that arent asextraordinary. This is not about a pile of training. No. Theyve hadtraining, more, less training depending upon the group.This is about their perception of their world, the world that theywork in. A positive perception, a perception that causes them toinnovate, causes them to risk, and causes them to deliver reallygreat results.Joe: Well, can you really make an extraordinary group happen,or does it just happen?Geoff: That was a question that we had early on. After findingout a lot about what we think extraordinary groups are, wed say,in answer to your question, Kathy and I would say, "Joe, here aresome elements that seem to be important to lot of differentextraordinary groups. Youre better off trying to put theseelements in place, trying to sprinkle these elements around thanjust sit back and say wow, it just happens."Often in our interviews we heard people saying, "That group wasjust magical," or "It was chemistry, or we were a really specialgroup." All those kinds of things, its a lot like when people talkabout romance, actually. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsReally, it is. I dont know how you would do that again. Many ofthe people that we interviewed said that. We said, "We get thatmagical part, weve experienced that." In fact early on we heardthe word magic so often, that we considered titling the book "TheMagic of Extraordinary Groups" or "Extraordinary Teams".But we said, thats not much of a service, lets try to be morehelpful here. Lets try to really create these groups. So weidentified some elements that we think are useful, and we thinkyoure better off pursuing the things we identified than just layingback and saying, "Wow, that was great. I dont know whathappened, but it was wonderful."Joe: So your research led you to some actual things that youcan apply. It wasnt just this touchy-feely type stuff?Geoff: True. Yeah, thats very true. Thats central to the fieldstudy, thats central to the book. We identified eight performanceindicators, we identified six needs, and we identified four feelingsthat are common to extraordinary groups. But I dont want to letgo of that touchy-feely side entirely. Youll find a bit of it woventhrough some of those eight, six, and four things I justmentioned.More important is, to our notion, extraordinary groups aredefined by the people inside the group. One of the ways theydefine those groups is about how they feel about it. Thats thetouchy-feely side. Thats what sets this group apart from all thoserational analytic groups over here that have all the skills present,but just dont have the magic.So I dont want to dismiss the touchy-feely side, and I dont wantto exaggerate it either. Im saying, if you just say its alltouchy-feely, well, youre really missing the boat.Joe: Did you find anything as far as how the group wasconstructed, whether it was like a baseball team or a S.W.A.T. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsTeam, or any of the different team models that you talk about orthat people talk about. Did you find any one that offered a betterchance to be extraordinary?Geoff: The short answer would be no, in terms of type of group.I think that, to put it too briefly, Ill elaborate further later, if youask the right question but extraordinary groups are joined inpurpose, theyre joined together, glued together, somehow, forpurpose.We talked to 60 of them. People from 60 of them, we didnt talkto everybody from every group, but let me give you somesamples of the groups that we talked about. Motorcycle club,white water rafters going down the Colorado River for threeweeks, soccer players, a Special Forces platoon in Iraq, softwaredevelopers, nurses, basketball team, barbershop quartet, jazzquintet, healthcare administrators, a neighborhood group thatsorganized around the safety of the neighborhood, product designteam, financial leadership team in Switzerland.A whole array of people and groups. Why? Because we decidedearly, no, what were testing early on, our thesis was that greatgroups have a huge amount in common. I mean if you got allthose different groups together in one room, what we believe isthey could come up with what it is that they share that theyreally value about being with a small group of people.Joe: You touched upon something, right there at the very end, issmall group. Because thats how you started out the book, is withtalking about a small group and here you are someone that dealswith large corporations and then you started out by talking small.Is that how an extraordinary group develops, does start outsmall? Can you have an extraordinary large group?Geoff: Yes, you can have an extraordinary large group. But thedynamics are so complex. I mean, we focused on groups of twoto 20. Actually if I were to do all that over again, Id be more Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemslikely, I dont know what Kathleen would say, but Id be morelikely to focus on groups of two to nine; a little bit related to yourearlier question.One thing that these great groups have in common is that theyare small and the smaller groups, those that are more up to nine,seem to have better results, less dynamics. They are, you know,a lot less complex than a group of 20.By the way, I keep using this word "group" over and over again.There are a lot of groups that we talk to that dont identify withthe word "team," and thats why we chose the word "group." Imnot sure its such a great marketing decision, but from thestandpoint of what were doing, its a good, accurate decision.We would fit like all those people that are tuned into this podcastright now, many of them are on teams, cause thats a lot aboutwhat the quality, continuous improvement, Agile development, allthat stuff is about teams. We would put those teams under theumbrella of groups.But there are others, other groups that are highly effective, thatdont identify with the word "team" at all. They see it as toocompetitive a term or that its laden with sports metaphors, thatkind of thing, that dont fit with where they are.Joe: You make a good point there because, you know, sooftentimes we always use the sports metaphors to explain teams.Can that be poor to do it that way?Geoff: There are a significant number of people listening rightnow who are on, who are in groups that are called teams andtheyre saying: "This is a team? What the hell kind of team isthis?" "This doesnt fit with all that sports stuff. Were notjoined..." Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSo the label on them is a label that is a little bit misleading. Itsays that we are joined together for a purpose when were not. Inthat sports metaphor, theres the "win, lose" aspect of that, asopposed to the "win, win" kind of aspect of it.Let me give you an example. Heres a tough one, kind ofillustrates it. Theres a woman that we interviewed whos part of avirtual group that extends across North America. Whatthat...those people have never met. The people in this group,there are, I dont know, 24 to 40 of them depending on when youtune in. They stay in touch via phone but primarily via computer,website, email, that kind of thing.What these many people share is they are all parents, and theyare all parents of children, preschool children, with diagnosedmental illnesses. The woman we interviewed has a child that waspreschool at the time and has four diagnosed illnesses.Well, nobody in her town, no other parents in her townunderstand her situation, but people across the nation do, thanksto the Internet and all, they can get together. This woman oftentalked to people in that group, six to 10 times a day, gettingsupport for this very difficult child, support from other parentsthat know what its like to have a child like that.That group, no way does that group conceive of itself as a team.No way is the sports metaphors appropriate to that group. Nohigh-fiving here. No, this is really down, difficult, important stuff.And its a very tight group of people that have never even meteach other.Joe: Well you stole one of my questions here because I wasgoing to ask you, can you have an extraordinary group virtually?And thats a great example of one right there.Geoff: Yes and its probably the extreme of virtual groupsbecause they never have met, and most, about 15 percent of the Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgroups that we talked to, or people from the groups that wetalked to were primarily virtual. You know, 75 percent or more oftheir work took place virtually. A lot of those virtual teams saweach other once a year, once a quarter, something like that. Butthey were on a tight team that worked together daily over theInternet.Joe: So that is pretty commonplace anymore then.Geoff: One of the things thats come up a few times in keynotesIve done, like the one with the Better Software Conference in LasVegas last week, what you do in a virtual team, to make itextraordinary, thats different from a face-to-face team.Looking at our own experience and looking at our interviews, Iwould say a short answer would be: Youre meeting the sameneeds. The members of the team have the same needs whethertheyre face-to-face or virtual.So you look for ways to glue them together. You look for whatmakes this team stick together, be on the tasks that are beforethem. The tasks have some effective glue but theres a socialelement.Along the way, by the way, as an aside, we interviewed a womanwith a large computer-oriented corporation whose, she was kindof, I dont know what she would call herself, but she was kind ofthe cyber-mom. Her job, within the virtual world of thatorganization, was to help glue teams together.She did that from her home on the East coast, on the Easternseaboard somewhere. She worked at joining teams all over theworld, paying attention to that glue so that more likely theywould come out to be really great teams, deliver great results,rather than just ho-hum teams.Joe: So that was actually her particular job? Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsGeoff: Yes. Yes, very interesting job. We looked for a way ofincluding her experience. Its more woven through all that wethought about and wrote about. In some ways, youd say shedeserves a chapter.But this is not a book on virtual teams. This is a book that somevirtual teams will find useful, but not primarily about the virtualworld.Joe: Talked about four patterns that were really the groupexperience and they were energized, connected, hopeful, andchanged. Does a group have to have all of them to beextraordinary?Geoff: No, let me say a couple of things about them first.Energized, connected, hopeful, changed are feelings that peoplehave during or as a result of being engaged with an extraordinarygroup.You can have some of those feelings occasionally, in a groupthats less than extraordinary. In a really great group, it is likely,we believe, its likely that youd have all four of those. Especiallythe first three, energize, connected, and hopeful.When we did our interviews with people from these 60 groups, aconcluding question we had been kind of in summary, how didyou feel being part of this really great group experience? Theyresponded readily. That was an easy question for people toanswer.Back to your point about touchy-feely, when you ask them thetouchy-feely questions, how did you feel about it? People justpour out feelings that they had, great feelings that they hadabout being in a group.We had over 400 words and phrases that came out of theseinterviews. Then Kathleen and I said, "Well, what feelings do they Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemshave in common? If we had to boil it down to a handful, about,what feelings would we boil it down to based on what we heardfrom them?"We came up with we think that people in the extraordinarygroups we talked to would respond with a strong affirmative tothe questions, did this experience energize you and your group?Yes, they would say yes.Did you feel more connected to your group, to yourself, to yourpurpose, to the world around you as a result of this? Yes.Did you feel more hopeful about yourself, about the world, aboutthe purpose your group was pursuing as a result of this? Yes.Did you feel changed by this group experience? Yes, a littleweaker yes there.Yes, for people who were experiencing the first extraordinarygroup theyd experienced in a long time. They would say stronglyyes.People that are used to being in great groups, theyd say, "Well, Iwasnt changed so much this time, but I can remember when Iwas."We see those four feelings as outputs to, outputs from anextraordinary group experience. They are indicative thatsomething important went on. The more of those youve gotgoing, the more likely it is an extraordinary group experience.But, they are outputs.If I were trying to make a group extraordinary, I wouldnt focusfirst of all on the feelings, outputs. Id be more likely to focus onwhat they can do before and during the group experience tomake it likely that those feelings were an output. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: How much of this depends on the individuals in the group?You can have one sour apple that spoils the whole thing, ofcourse, but do the individuals within the group have to have acertain mindset?Geoff: There are some groups that it clearly works better with.A little bit about the individuals in the group, but its also aboutthe group purpose.Lets take the Agile development folks and lets take softwaredevelopment in general, because I happened to be with them lastweek and talked to a bunch of them at this conference.One thing I noted, actually they noted it to me, is they said,"One, look around this conference and youre going to see a lot ofguys. Youre going to see a lot of guys that were drawn tosoftware development. They didnt come to software developmentprimarily because they wanted to get together with a bunch ofother guys and have a good time while they developed software."Somebody else said somebody who consults to the softwareworld. He said, "There are a lot of introverts in this room. Payattention to that as you talk to them. Know that a lot of thesepeople are drawn toward working alone rather than working withothers."So, to your question, Joe, yes, people that are more drawn toworking with each other in a noncompetitive setting are moredrawn to the things that you need to do to make extraordinarygroups.But, the Agile world is telling us if you want to get the task doneand you want to get it done in a really great and time efficientmanner, then scrum, then join together, meet daily, standupmeetings, meet with client, regular basis, and you will come upwith a product faster and better that fits with what the clientwants right now, not what they wanted weeks or months ago Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswhen you started the kind of waterfall, traditional, sequentialprocess.I think that whats happening in the Agile world is that a lot ofpeople, mostly guys, are drawn to work that they often like doingalone, but theyre discovering satisfaction of joining with others ina team to get something done.They are, as a result, some of the dynamics within that team toget it done. It often is a real struggle, as some of them told me,"We know these teams are a really good idea, but God, its hardto do that stuff. But, its better than the sequential that we wereinvolved in before." Thats a very long answer.Joe: Theres a lot of truth to that. Because, I mean, weve comefrom a point where we had everybody in their own little individualcloset looking at a computer screen writing code and now we putthem in this open environment with five, six people at a table andwe do pair programming. Thats a pretty big cultural shift forsomebody.Geoff: Ooh. Yeah, I think it is. I think its admirable when peopleare stepping in to a. But a really nice thing about that shift thatyou know more about, and youve been in that world, while I justvisited. A really nice thing about that shift is people arent shiftingbecause of the touchy-feely aspects of it. Theyre shifting becauseof the results, because of the creativity thats involved thealternatives that are involved, the ideas that are broughttogether, the satisfaction of the client, the satisfaction of theteam.So its not like you got a bunch of social workers who might bemore, by background and style, more amenable to a group,working in a group setting. No, these are people that are lessamenable to that but are discovering what it can deliver for them. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: What about groups that come together intermittently andthen break apart and go back to their regular jobs? Can thatgroup itself be extraordinary?Geoff: My sense of the people from the 60 groups that wetalked with is most of them were groups like you just described.We had groups that continued for years, some groups that metquarterly for years.We had other groups that joined, for example Im thinking of agroup that came together around the research and creation of,and putting in place new IT system, new hardware system for acompany. They were together for some months and had quite anextraordinary experience focused on that particular project beforethem.We had other groups that were together for weeks. Our ideasapplied whether its a short-term group or a long-term group. Letme give you an example.All those people that are listening right now and me and you,were going to be within the next few days or minutes, weregoing to be going off to a meeting with some group, some smallgroup, probably a group with a task before. Its probably at workand may be out in the community. When we come to thatmeeting, we have needs that we are trying to meet.Kathleen and I identified with those needs, at least to oursatisfaction, were not saying were entirely right, were sayingwere very useful. We identified those needs.We believe that whether this is a long-term project or ashort-term project that when you, Joe, go to a meeting, you areinterested in being accepted by the people that are with you atthe meeting. Youre interested in growing in some way. Youreinterested in determining whether this group is a group that can, Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsthat could be together for a while, needs to join itself, needs tobond in some way.Youre interested in what the groups purpose, task is. You wantto know what difference this group will make in the larger worldthat it serves. You and the group want a sense of the reality ofthe world that surrounds you.Put in really those six needs that Kathleen and I identified arerepresented in those few statements that I just made there.Thats your needs for acceptance potential, a groups needs tobond and have purpose, a groups need to understand the worldaround them and impact the world around them.Those are present whatever group it is, whether its long-term,short-term, whether its a basketball team or an IT design team.So, yeah, all that stuff is going on. And you can pay attention toit in the next meeting you go to if you choose.Joe: Here I am. Ive been picked to form this group. I want tohave an extraordinary group. I want to have a great group. Whatdo I look for in its members? How do I make a selection to giveme half a chance?Geoff: Well one is, Id suggest to you, that you learn before yougo out and talk to people about what you want, is one is youlearn about what extraordinary groups do but do not hold thatout from the beginning as what youre trying to create. Instead,be guided by it.In a similar way, a parallel way would be, if youre a golfer, youmight get a DVD of some expert golfer that shows you how toplay golf even better than you do right now. That professionalgolfer is not saying, and you are not saying, "Boy, I do thesethings, Im going to be an extraordinary golfer like he or she is."No, youre saying, "I can learn from a really great golfer." Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSimilar way here with our book and our study, you can learn fromextraordinary groups without saying from the beginning thatyoure going to be one. Most of the groups that we talked to arereally happy to be extraordinary but they didnt say in thebeginning, "Were going to be a really fantastic group." OK, sothats the first answer to your question.A second thing is, Id say as you are, if you have the privilege ofpicking people to join a group. Often we dont, we get assigned,but if you have the privilege of picking people to join a group,then ask them about group experiences that theyve had before.Ask them to describe a really great group experience that theydlike to repeat if they were to join this group. Ask them whatmotivates them in their work. Ask them why they do what theydo. Ask them how the work that theyre doing helps them in theirlives.Most of the things that make individuals really great performersin really great groups go beyond the workplace itself. They go tothis individuals life. What he or she is getting out of their lives,wants from their lives, and how this group serves it.So they see this group, this new work group, your work group,the one they could join, they see that group as having thepotential to serve them in their lives. Not just serve the companyand in some cases company be damned. Its a, what they can getout of this that helps them realize their life purposes.Joe: Is there such a thing as measurements that take placewithin a group. I mean, should I be measuring my progress in agroup as far as if Im moving ahead with these things that I pointto that makes it an extraordinary group?Geoff: Yes. Thats something you definitely can do and itsuseful. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsEven, of course, the big measurements, one big measurement isaround tangible results. The reason that groups were oftenformed is because some result is wanted. Thats that measureand there are the measures along the way that move you towardthat.In the continuous improvement Sic Sigma World, quality worldand all that, youre very familiar, more than I with a lot of theimportance of measurement.To me, the importance of measurement is, even on things thatare more intangible and harder to measure, is when you attemptto measure something, you pay more attention to what youredoing, even if its difficult to measure.Lets say, what would be a kind of corny thing thats important?Ah, team spirit. That might be a really difficult kind of thing tomeasure. But you could get together with the team and you couldsay, "What would be, if we really had a spirit, like weve had insome other, each of us individually had, teams that weve beenpart of in the past, what would be indicators that this team hadreally high spirit? What would we see going on? What could wevideotape if we wanted to that would be indicators of spirit?"So you get even on the softer edges, the softer dimensions ofthis, you can come up with measurements that are agreed to bythe team that are useful and help the team get closer to theirintention.Joe: You could actually say every time a team gets together andlook at some indicators or patterns and see when you had a goodmeeting or bad meeting and try to distinguish what went on.Geoff: Yes, you can. An important thing for groups andindividuals listening is not so much that you do that every timebut that occasionally, how often do you stop to assess how weredoing together? Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsKathleen and I would offer some ways of assessing that. In thebook, one of the things that we focused on, based on all theinterviewing that we did, is, "What is it that youd see going on ingroups that would be indicators that this is, indicators of moreextraordinary rather than more ordinary behavior?"We identified eight things that many of which you can readilybring down to observable performance.One indicator, and you can measure this within a team on afive-point scale or a raise of hands or a discussion, one indicatoris compelling purpose.Does this team have a purpose that is embraced by every singlemember of the team? Not just the leader of the team, but everyperson on the team embraces the purpose, they find it reallyimportant and they can tell you what that purpose is, they donthave to turn to the designated leader to find out.A second thing is, is leadership shared within this team? Do wefind leadership moving around within the team rather than beingconcentrated in one purpose? Most extraordinary groups haveleadership shared. Anybody in the team can take initiative andtake the lead in this moment, even teams that have a designatedleader.A third point would be just enough structure. Most of thesesmaller, extraordinary groups do not have a highly structuredapproach. In fact if you look in on them, they look kind of messy.Theyre more organic and you might not know what in the hell isgoing on as a visitor.They know whats going on but you dont. So they have enoughstructure to get the job done in the moment and theyre notoverly structured. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsFourth point is full engagement. How engaged are the teammembers? Do you see everybody in the team engaged? Is energyhigh? Is there significant laughter? Is there fun? Are peopleengaged in this, working at this willingly during hours and evenafter hours?A fifth point is embracing differences, a really interesting point.What happens when theres a difference of opinion in this team?And in extraordinary groups, more often, they embrace thedifference. They tease out the polar differences betweenindividuals because they know that between those polardifferences are creative alternatives that they wouldnt find if theysuppressed, if they suppressed disagreement.A sixth point is these teams have unexpected learnings. Theylearn about how to be a really great team. They learn about howto lead a team. They learn skills in the workplace that are usefulat home and out in the community, interpersonal team kinds of,group kinds of skills.A seventh point is do these people have strong relationships? Arethe relationships being strengthened by the work that they dotogether? Are some friendships even resulting from the work thatthey do?The eighth and last point is great results. Ive alluded to thisearlier great tangible result. They have results that please theirsponsors outside of this team. They get great results for thecorporation or the large business that theyre part of.They have great intangible results too in terms of the dynamicswithin the team. The intangible results are the more preciousresults to the team members. Theyre used to the tangibleresults. Theyre used to performing in that realm. What surprisesthem is the intangible things that they value about what went onwithin this team. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSo there are eight performance indicators that teams can use,they can judge themselves. How are we doing on these things?They can look at themselves regularly in terms of how theyperform. There are few extraordinary groups, few extraordinarygroups that dont stop to look at how they work together.Joe: Youre saying that they are actually evaluated and maybemaking adjustments so that they can have better performance.Geoff: They are. They are. Now they are not necessarilyevaluating the eight points that we made. Do they stop to look athow theyre doing? Do they make adjustments in how theyperform based on their assessment of how theyre workingtogether? Extraordinary groups emphatically do that. Ordinarygroups often do not.Joe: Well that brings me to a question. How can I tell when Imheaded down the path? How can I tell when Im going south? Thisgroup is really not gelling, I need to do something. Sure, Imgoing to probably have a feeling thats happening, but are thereany tips you can give me that I can say that boy, I need to dosomething here, I need to make a change?Geoff: Yeah, if you have that feeling, and its a group of anysize, say typically five to nine people, and youre a member of thegroup, not necessarily the leader at all, first of all Id suggest youfind somebody else in the group that you have a decentrelationship with, and you share your feeling about that. Like, "Idont know, maybe..." or, maybe first of all you ask them whatare their feelings about how this group is doing. Get your feelingsvalidated by someone else thats in the group.At some upcoming group meeting say, "I think at some point weought to stop and take a look at how were doing together, wevebeen working together here for three months, and weve beenmeeting regularly. I think that we ought to devote some time to Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemslook into how were working together and whats working andwhat could work even better than it is right now."Get peoples support of that. It may be that you do it right thenand there, or it may be that you do it in some future meeting. Butyou get the group support for looking at how we work together sowe can be even more effective.This is very consistent with the continuous improvement quality,etc. stuff. Coincidentally, something that Kathleen and I alongwith another consultant are working on right now is, weve beenasked to develop an extraordinary team’s inventory.Were in the middle of validating that right now. 600 people andover 60 new teams on top of the 60 we talked to before haveparticipated in filling out the inventory were validating. Itsonline, its going to be at Hrdq.com probably this fall, I think itwill be ready.Weve had a lot of people participate in it, and what are theydoing? Theyre doing just what youre asking about.Theyre taking a timeout, each team member goes online, takes15 minutes or so to fill out some kind of assessment of the teamand the assessment is actually against the eight points that I wasreviewing a minute ago.Then those results are sent back to the individual team member,and then the overall team results are presented so the team canlook at how they scored all together. They can look at theindividual scores without the individuals being identified. Thats amore formal approach to it.But you dont need to go through all of that in order to stop andtake a look at how your team is doing. You dont need to use oureight performance indicators, though theyre very good, you canuse your own performance indicators. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsYou can say to each other, what should this team be doing well?And now lets assess ourselves on how were doing on thosethings from nine, really great, to one, really poorly. So, yeah, ateam can do that if they want to.Joe: I think the eight points are excellent, it reminds me a lot ofthe five dysfunctions ofGeoff: Yeah. Lencionis stuff, yeah.Joe: Yes, Lencionis stuff, it reminds me of that a little bit. Greatway to sit there and take a look at it, it really makes you sit back,and its something that, like you said with the rating system, youcan really see if youre improving as a team or if youre not.Geoff: Those scores get put out there, and its not necessary toidentify who said what. And you can see, "Gee I thought thisteam was about a four-and-a-half, and somebody here thinks itsa two. And somebody else thinks its a three. What in the hell isgoing on there?"So that opens the discussion, and can lead toward, "OK were inagreement that were of mixed minds here, mixed sympathies. Sothat suggests that we try doing some things differently. What dowe want to do differently?"Joe: Geoff, on your website, you have some of these thingsavailable for people to download and take a look at, dont you?Geoff: Yes, we do. Youll find some tools there. Like the lastthing about the team assessing itself, theres a simple tool inthere where people can do that. Theres other tools related to thesix needs, tools related to the four feelings.All that is free stuff at extraordinarygroups.com. In the book,theres a lot of elaboration on the specifics about how to do someof this stuff. How to lead a team, how to participate in a team ina way that honors the eight indicators, the six needs, the four Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsfeelings. So, theres even more elaboration there than there is atthe website.Joe: Is there anything you would like to add that maybe Ihavent asked you?Geoff: One of the things that was validated for me in writing thebook is that I believe more strongly than ever that the basic unitof work among human beings is not individuals. Its not anorganization, a hierarchical organization. It is small groups.Groups of two to probably ten, twelve people. Thats how we getthings done.We are deeply informed to group with other people. This is notjust a matter of convenience; this is a matter of need. We needto be with others. Weve survived as a species because of groups.We did not survive individually. We joined together in order tosurvive. So, were genetically informed to group with otherpeople. We need to do that.That is something that came across as really strong to me as Iwas working on this book. Weve not served that basic work unitof the group well in large organizations. We struggle to do that.Were organized too much around the individual, not enougharound groups.Joe: I think Ill end it on that, and I would like to thank you verymuch. Whats the best way for someone to get a hold of you?Geoff: The website, ExtraordinaryGroups.com and emailinfo@extraordinarygroups.com, works really well. So thats agood way to reach me. Or geoffbellman@gmail.com.Joe: Thank you very much Geoff, I do appreciate it. This podcastwill be available on the Business901 website and also theBusiness901 iTunes Store. Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901
  24. 24. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and withingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive companyproviding direction in areas such as Lean Marketing, ProductMarketing, Product Launches and Re-Launches. As a LeanSix Sigma Black Belt, Business901 provides and implementsmarketing, project and performance planning methodologies insmall businesses. The simplicity of a single flexible model willcreate clarity for your staff and as a result better execution. Mygoal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could startwith a consulting style utilizing an individual from yourorganization or a virtual assistance that is well versed in ourprinciples. We have capabilities to plug virtually anymarketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s rolesupporting the process as needed. The goal of implementing asystem is that the processes will become a habit and not anevent. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Transforming Ordinary Teams to Extraordinary Copyright Business901