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Groundwork
@aaroni
Design Director, Capital One
Building foundations for high performing teams
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Technology is advancing at pace that is hard to keep up with,
and as a result, users are getting more advanced, developing
higher expectations for the products they use.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Photo by Rikki Chan on Unsplash
“For all the dollars spent by American companies on R&D,
there often remains a persistent and troubling gap between
the inherent value of the technology they develop and their
ability to put it to work effectively.” 

- Dorothy Leonard & BartonWilliam A. Kraus
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
https://hbr.org/1985/11/implementing-new-technology
While the use of leading technologies and tech stacks paired with talented teams is definitely
a step in the right direction, it is not enough for us to rest our laurels on. Everyone is doing it.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
While the use of leading technologies and tech stacks paired with talented teams is definitely
a step in the right direction, it is not enough for us to rest our laurels on. Everyone is doing it.
We need a new differentiator, something not dependent on ever
evolving tech, or landing rock star talent in a saturated market.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Foundations built on creating a culture that enables teams to do their best work
aren’t as affected by a shift in technology, or staffing logistics.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Foundations built on creating a culture that enables teams to do their best work
aren’t as affected by a shift in technology, or staffing logistics.
In fact, tech becomes irrelevant, and retention rates are higher, when the right
culture is fostered, allowing teams/orgs to focus on the task at hand.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
How can we go about creating a foundation
for our teams to do their best work?
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Photo by Fleur Treurniet on Unsplash
Successful leaders allow their teams to take informed
risks, make honest mistakes and learn from them, 

thus encouraging creativity and innovation.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Data indicates that psychological safety, more than anything else,
is critical to making a team work.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html
Those who are poorly led, micromanaged, not challenged,
or held to low standards, will underperform.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Group emotional intelligence**
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Group emotional intelligence**
Trust, identity, efficacy
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Group emotional intelligence**
Trust, identity, efficacy
Participation, cooperation, collaboration
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Group emotional intelligence**
Trust, identity, efficacy
Participation, cooperation, collaboration
Better decisions, more creative solutions, higher productivity
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Create a shared vision that supports team member
autonomy in decision-making and execution.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
Your team needs to understand your expectations, the
importance of those expectations, and the fact that you
welcome mistakes in pursuit of meeting them.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
By providing clear objectives for your team, and setting guardrails for how
they get there, you will set them on the path to successful outcomes.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Position leads and teams to be connected to a singular, guiding,
purpose, that allows them to make decisions on their own.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Teach your team how to think, instead
of telling them what to do, empower
them to do their best work.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
With a shared vision it becomes much easier to Increase team
communication and collaboration.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Photo by Benjamin Schneider on Unsplash
We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust
within our team.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust
within our team.
We do this by assuming positive intent, and engaging others
in a way that makes it easy for them to do the same.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
When we have established strong internal relationships, it then becomes
easier to build strong partnerships with cross-functional teams.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust
with our partners.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust
with our partners.
We do this by assuming positive intent, and engaging others
in a way that makes it easy for them to do the same.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Level the playing field.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Find a common purpose.
Level the playing field.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Unite under one mission/vision.
Find a common purpose.
Level the playing field.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Be willing to step outside the norm to support success.
Unite under one mission/vision.
Find a common purpose.
Level the playing field.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
“If you want maximal productivity, and if you want work that gets the
best results, you want the people doing that work to be in the optimal
brain state for the work.
You are a person who can evict them from the zone of optimal
performance by slothfully handling your own interactions with them.
So it's up to you to take responsibility for your impact on their ability
to work at their best.” ~ Daniel Goleman
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Dealing with conflict within our teams and with our
partners, aka… navigating workplace politics.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
“Inspire each other to achieve our
dreams and do the best work of
our lives in a fearless, candid, and
supportive environment.”
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
• Create a psychologically safe environment where
radical candor, differing points of view, and
openness / vulnerability are the norm.
• Value diversity of opinion and experience.

• Encourage and reward thoughtful risk-taking.
• Celebrate wins and failures.
• Establish team > me mindset.
Leaders will… Team members can…
• Be open and vulnerable
• Provide meaningful, timely, caring feedback
• Share candidly, challenge directly
• Care deeply about one another’s success,
elevate each other.
• Take risks to help advance their team’s goals
So that…
Here’s what we expect everyone at every level
to be able to do, to enable the mission
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Easier said than done.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Easier said than done.
Be ready to be tired, but not ready to give up. 

So many times when we feel like hope is lost,
there is a breakthrough.
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Right… But how?Performance Management:

Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.

(safe environment, etc)
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Right… But how?Performance Management:

Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.

(safe environment, etc)
Making resources easily available: 

Heavily encourage engaging in training materials.

(see resources slide)
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Right… But how?Performance Management:

Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.

(safe environment, etc)
Making resources easily available: 

Heavily encourage engaging in training materials.

(see resources slide)
Team Member Development Plans: 

Explicitly start to use mission as line item in dev plans.

(ie. What is every individual’s plan for living and being part of the mission?)
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
“Leaders must change their role from that of an arbiter and
a decision-maker to that of a gardener, setting the
conditions for your team to grow and be successful and
nurturing them on their journey.” ~ Chris Fussell
Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Thank you.
@aaroni
Design Director, Capital One
We are hiring!
Director Product Mgmt - CML Bank
Product Manager - CML Bank
Design - NY
DPM’s
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Resources
McChrystal Group
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Managing Humans
Ego Free Leadership
Leaders Eat Last
The 5 Marks of Effective Leadership
Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash
@aaroni
#dpm2018 #groundwork
Resources (cont) - Character Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
On Emotrional Intelligence
Emotional Awareness Component Definition Hallmarks
Self-Awareness The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions,
and drives, as well as their effect on others.
• Self-confidence.
• Realistic self-assessment.
• Self deprecating sense of humor/not taking one’s self
to seriously.
Self-Regulation The ability to control or re-direct disruptive impulses and
moods.
The propensity to suspend judgement - to think before acting.
• Trustworthiness and integrity.
• Comfort with ambiguity.
• Openness to change.
Motivation A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status.
A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
• Strong drive to achieve.
• Optimism in the face of failure.
• Organizational commitment.
Empathy The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other
people.
Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
• Expertise in building and retaining talent.
• Cross-cultural sensitivity.
• Service to team, business partners, and customers.
Social Skills Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.
An ability to find common ground.
• Effectiveness in leading change.
• Persuasiveness.
• Expertise in building and leading teams.

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Groundwork - Building Foundations for High Performing Teams - DPM Summit 2018

  • 1. Groundwork @aaroni Design Director, Capital One Building foundations for high performing teams Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
  • 2. Technology is advancing at pace that is hard to keep up with, and as a result, users are getting more advanced, developing higher expectations for the products they use. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork Photo by Rikki Chan on Unsplash
  • 3. “For all the dollars spent by American companies on R&D, there often remains a persistent and troubling gap between the inherent value of the technology they develop and their ability to put it to work effectively.” 
 - Dorothy Leonard & BartonWilliam A. Kraus @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork https://hbr.org/1985/11/implementing-new-technology
  • 4. While the use of leading technologies and tech stacks paired with talented teams is definitely a step in the right direction, it is not enough for us to rest our laurels on. Everyone is doing it. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 5. While the use of leading technologies and tech stacks paired with talented teams is definitely a step in the right direction, it is not enough for us to rest our laurels on. Everyone is doing it. We need a new differentiator, something not dependent on ever evolving tech, or landing rock star talent in a saturated market. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 6. Foundations built on creating a culture that enables teams to do their best work aren’t as affected by a shift in technology, or staffing logistics. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 7. Foundations built on creating a culture that enables teams to do their best work aren’t as affected by a shift in technology, or staffing logistics. In fact, tech becomes irrelevant, and retention rates are higher, when the right culture is fostered, allowing teams/orgs to focus on the task at hand. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 8. How can we go about creating a foundation for our teams to do their best work? @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork Photo by Fleur Treurniet on Unsplash
  • 9. Successful leaders allow their teams to take informed risks, make honest mistakes and learn from them, 
 thus encouraging creativity and innovation. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 10. Data indicates that psychological safety, more than anything else, is critical to making a team work. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html
  • 11. Those who are poorly led, micromanaged, not challenged, or held to low standards, will underperform. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 13. Group emotional intelligence** Trust, identity, efficacy @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 14. Group emotional intelligence** Trust, identity, efficacy Participation, cooperation, collaboration @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 15. Group emotional intelligence** Trust, identity, efficacy Participation, cooperation, collaboration Better decisions, more creative solutions, higher productivity @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 16. Create a shared vision that supports team member autonomy in decision-making and execution. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
  • 17. Your team needs to understand your expectations, the importance of those expectations, and the fact that you welcome mistakes in pursuit of meeting them. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 18. By providing clear objectives for your team, and setting guardrails for how they get there, you will set them on the path to successful outcomes. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 19. Position leads and teams to be connected to a singular, guiding, purpose, that allows them to make decisions on their own. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 20. Teach your team how to think, instead of telling them what to do, empower them to do their best work. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 21. With a shared vision it becomes much easier to Increase team communication and collaboration. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork Photo by Benjamin Schneider on Unsplash
  • 22. We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust within our team. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 23. We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust within our team. We do this by assuming positive intent, and engaging others in a way that makes it easy for them to do the same. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 24. When we have established strong internal relationships, it then becomes easier to build strong partnerships with cross-functional teams. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 25. We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust with our partners. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 26. We want work from a position of trust, and seek to build trust with our partners. We do this by assuming positive intent, and engaging others in a way that makes it easy for them to do the same. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 27. Level the playing field. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 28. Find a common purpose. Level the playing field. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 29. Unite under one mission/vision. Find a common purpose. Level the playing field. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 30. Be willing to step outside the norm to support success. Unite under one mission/vision. Find a common purpose. Level the playing field. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 31. “If you want maximal productivity, and if you want work that gets the best results, you want the people doing that work to be in the optimal brain state for the work. You are a person who can evict them from the zone of optimal performance by slothfully handling your own interactions with them. So it's up to you to take responsibility for your impact on their ability to work at their best.” ~ Daniel Goleman @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 32. Dealing with conflict within our teams and with our partners, aka… navigating workplace politics. Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 33. “Inspire each other to achieve our dreams and do the best work of our lives in a fearless, candid, and supportive environment.” @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 34. • Create a psychologically safe environment where radical candor, differing points of view, and openness / vulnerability are the norm. • Value diversity of opinion and experience.
 • Encourage and reward thoughtful risk-taking. • Celebrate wins and failures. • Establish team > me mindset. Leaders will… Team members can… • Be open and vulnerable • Provide meaningful, timely, caring feedback • Share candidly, challenge directly • Care deeply about one another’s success, elevate each other. • Take risks to help advance their team’s goals So that… Here’s what we expect everyone at every level to be able to do, to enable the mission @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 35. Easier said than done. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 36. Easier said than done. Be ready to be tired, but not ready to give up. 
 So many times when we feel like hope is lost, there is a breakthrough. @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 37. Right… But how?Performance Management:
 Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.
 (safe environment, etc) @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 38. Right… But how?Performance Management:
 Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.
 (safe environment, etc) Making resources easily available: 
 Heavily encourage engaging in training materials.
 (see resources slide) @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 39. Right… But how?Performance Management:
 Explicitly start to use mission in discussion and ratings.
 (safe environment, etc) Making resources easily available: 
 Heavily encourage engaging in training materials.
 (see resources slide) Team Member Development Plans: 
 Explicitly start to use mission as line item in dev plans.
 (ie. What is every individual’s plan for living and being part of the mission?) @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 40. “Leaders must change their role from that of an arbiter and a decision-maker to that of a gardener, setting the conditions for your team to grow and be successful and nurturing them on their journey.” ~ Chris Fussell Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 42. We are hiring! Director Product Mgmt - CML Bank Product Manager - CML Bank Design - NY DPM’s Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 43. Resources McChrystal Group Five Dysfunctions of a Team Managing Humans Ego Free Leadership Leaders Eat Last The 5 Marks of Effective Leadership Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash @aaroni #dpm2018 #groundwork
  • 44. Resources (cont) - Character Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders On Emotrional Intelligence Emotional Awareness Component Definition Hallmarks Self-Awareness The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others. • Self-confidence. • Realistic self-assessment. • Self deprecating sense of humor/not taking one’s self to seriously. Self-Regulation The ability to control or re-direct disruptive impulses and moods. The propensity to suspend judgement - to think before acting. • Trustworthiness and integrity. • Comfort with ambiguity. • Openness to change. Motivation A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. • Strong drive to achieve. • Optimism in the face of failure. • Organizational commitment. Empathy The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions. • Expertise in building and retaining talent. • Cross-cultural sensitivity. • Service to team, business partners, and customers. Social Skills Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. An ability to find common ground. • Effectiveness in leading change. • Persuasiveness. • Expertise in building and leading teams.