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From Teams to Tribes: Creating a one team culture

This presentation was given at the itSMF Service Management 2015 conference in Sydney on the 20th August 2015.

People naturally form tribes. It is just what we do. However, not all tribes are equally effective. Just like with regular teams it is the culture of the tribe that dictates its effectiveness. When we pull various technology teams to work on a program, product or value stream, they will form a tribe, a team of teams.

When we look to improve the performance of the teams involved in enhancing and maintain a product or value stream, we we often get so focused on improving technical practices and individual performance that we can easily forget to help the teams involved bond, foster a sense of belonging, shape their values and instil respect for one another. To maximise the effectiveness of any team of teams, we need to take the time to build a culture beyond team’s individual identity to create a sense of tribal unity.

From Teams to Tribes: Creating a one team culture

  1. 1. Em Campbell-Pretty Partner, Context Matters @PrettyAgile FROM TEAMS TO TRIBES: Creating a one team culture AU S T R A L I A 20th August 2015
  2. 2. FAST FORWARD….
  3. 3. 3 YEARS LATER….
  4. 4. “Birds flock, fish school, people tribe.”
  5. 5. Stage 1: Life sucks! Stage 2: My life sucks! Stage 3: I’m great! Stage 4: We’re great! Stage 5: Life’s great! 5 STAGES OF TRIBAL CULTURE Source: Tribal Leadership by David Logan “What makes some tribes more effective than others is culture.” - David Logan
  6. 6. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. - Seth Godin
  7. 7. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. - Seth Godin
  8. 8. “…create a team that acts as a team, one in which the members support one another and work together to achieve the results you need.” - Christine Comaford, Smart Tribes CREATE TEAMS…
  9. 9. “…if a group is so large, or its life is so short, or its members so dispersed and out of touch with one another that it cannot operate as an intact social system in carrying out its work, then prospects for effectiveness are dim.” – J. Richard Hackman, Leading Teams OF 7 PEOPLE ± 2… Image Source:
  10. 10. WHO VISUALISE THEIR WORK… “…make all necessary information visible when people need it, enabling effective collaboration and improvement through understanding how the work works.” - Marcus Hammarberg & Joakim Sundén, Kanban in Action
  11. 11. AND COMMUNICATE DAILY “The key is to focus on only enough information sharing to solicit requests from parties who need something and promises from parties who will fill the need.” – Christine Comaford, Smart Tribes
  13. 13. WITH A SHARED IDENTITY… “…the latest neuroscience research shows that our very sense of survival depends upon a sense of belonging. When that sense of belonging isn’t there, even in the workplace, fear kicks in.” - Christine Comaford, Smart Tribes
  14. 14. AND SHARED EXPERIENCES “…vulnerability-based trust cannot be achieved overnight. It requires shared experiences over time…” - Patrick Lencioni
  15. 15. USE CONTINUOUS “HUMAN” INTEGRATION… 9:00am 9:15am 930am 9:45am When people share rhythms with others they develop stronger emotional bonds and are more likely to pitch in for the common good - Bob Sutton, Scaling Excellence
  16. 16. AND CHAPTERS TO GLUE THE TRIBE TOGETHER If each squad was fully autonomous and had no communication with other squads, then what is the point of having a company? Spotify might as well be chopped into 30 different small companies. - Henrik Kniberg & Anders Ivarsson, Scaling Agile @ Spotify
  17. 17. THEN CELEBRATE AS A TRIBE (NOT A TEAM) When you’ve celebrated moving from 1 to 2, and then from 2 to 3, you gain confidence that you can make the next advance - Chip & Dan Heath, Switch
  18. 18. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. - Seth Godin
  19. 19. CONNECT AT THE GEMBA … "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're 1,000 miles from the corn field." — Dwight Eisenhower
  20. 20. USE WHAT YOU LEARN TO SERVE THE TRIBE To lead is to serve. Remember that. Every single outstanding leader that ever was, is, and shall be understands that greatness is found in serving. - Keni Thomas, U.S. Army Ranger, Blackhawk Down
  21. 21. SHOW YOUR VULNERABILITY “Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, and the first thing I look for in you.” Brené Brown
  22. 22. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea. - Seth Godin
  23. 23. “True leadership inspires people with vision. Vision pulls people not only to take action by also to care about the outcome, to take personal ownership of it, and to bring their “A game” every day” - Christine Comaford, Smart Tribes World Leaders in Agile Data Warehousing
  24. 24. Imagine if you could increase productivity, eliminate waste, release value faster and increase staff engagement... - Catherine Haugh, Release Train Engineer
  25. 25. If tribes are the most powerful vehicles within companies, cultures are their engines. - David Logan
  26. 26. “Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees.“ – Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
  27. 27. Employee NPS data makes the people side of the business far more transparent and subject to learning and experimentation. - Fred Reichheld, The Ultimate Question 2.0 QUANTIFYING CULTURE On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend working in ______ to a friend or colleague? Why?
  29. 29. I don’t assume what worked for me will work for you, but I do want to inspire you as you contemplate what and intentional culture of joy could look like in your world. - Richard Sheridan, Joy Inc.
  30. 30. Em Campbell-Pretty Partner, Context Matters @PrettyAgile QUESTIONS?
  31. 31. Em Campbell-Pretty Partner, Context Matters @PrettyAgile WANT TO KNOW MORE? Check out my blog post on: •  Unity Day: •  Continuous “Human” Integration: •  Chapters: •  Leading by serving: •  Leading Through Vulnerability: •  The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): •  Quantifying Culture: