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Alison Coward (Founder, Bracket) - Designing High-Performing Teams

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This video for this talk from Business of Software Conference Europe 2018 will be published here soon: http://businessofsoftware.org/2016/07/all-talks-from-business-of-software-conferences-in-one-place-saas-software-talks/

It’s not just enough to hire talented people and hope for the best. Innovation and complex problem-solving requires teamwork, so we need to pay attention to how people work together. Building great products means creating the best environment for teams to thrive.

Finding the right balance between individual expertise and collective effort, while tricky, is possible. In this talk, Alison will share her insights on effective collaboration, the habits of successful teams, and principles for designing an outstanding team culture.

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Alison Coward (Founder, Bracket) - Designing High-Performing Teams

  1. 1. @alisoncoward bracketcreative.co.uk #BoS2018 DESIGNING HIGH-PERFORMING TEAMS
  2. 2. How do you achieve “team flow”?
  3. 3. CREATIVITY & PRODUCTIVITY
  4. 4. TEAMWORK IS CHANGING
  5. 5. of our work is now done in teams The Power of Many, EY, 2013 90%
  6. 6. TEAMWORK TODAY
  7. 7. PRINCIPLES FOR THE TEAMWORK OF TODAY
  8. 8. FACILITATION
  9. 9. DESIGN APPROACH
  10. 10. BUILDING TEAM HABITS
  11. 11. ASANA “CULTURE AS A PRODUCT”
  12. 12. What makes a successful team?
  13. 13. START WITH THE INDIVIDUAL
  14. 14. “Affirming the individual and the team” THE PARADOX OF CREATIVE TEAMS Linda Hill “Collective Genius”
  15. 15. IT STARTS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL Self-awareness: 1. How they like to work
  16. 16. The proportion of time that workers spend responding to emails, in meetings and on the phone 80% Collaborative Overload, Harvard Business Review, 2016
  17. 17. Deep work Cal Newport
  18. 18. IT STARTS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL Self-awareness: 1. How they like to work 2. How they work with others
  19. 19. PURPOSE “The deep motivation and engagement that people have when they feel they are working towards something much bigger than themselves” Daniel Pink, Drive TEAM MEMBERS CAN SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
  20. 20. THEY HAVE GOOD COMMUNICATION MIT Human Dynamics Lab The most effective teams: 1. Communicate frequently 2. Talk and listen in equal measure 3. Engage in frequent informal communication 4. Conversation is dynamic Harvard Business Review, April 2012 “The New Science of Building Great Teams”
  21. 21. What is the most important lever for motivating individuals? Recognition Progress Tangible incentives Clear work goals QUIZ
  22. 22. Teresa Amabile & Steve Kramer “The Progress Principle” What is the most important lever for motivating individuals? Recognition Progress Tangible incentives Clear work goals QUIZ
  23. 23. MAKE REGULAR PROGRESS TOWARDS GOALS ● 238 knowledge workers ● 12000 daily diary entries “In settings where people must work together to solve challenging problems, high performance has four dimensions: creativity, productivity, commitment & collegiality” Teresa Amabile & Steve Kramer “The Progress Principle”
  24. 24. Impact of work Meaning of work Structure & clarity Dependability Psychological safety GOOGLE’S PROJECT ARISTOTLE
  25. 25. WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL TEAM? High performing teams discuss HOW they will work together
  26. 26. What would you do if a non-team player has > 10x results compared to the rest of the team combined?
  27. 27. MAKE YOUR MEETINGS COUNT
  28. 28. $37 billion Collaborative Overload, HBR wasted on unproductive meetings in US every year
  29. 29. AMAZON’S “SILENT STARTS”
  30. 30. AMAZON’S BIG WHEEL
  31. 31. TAKE INSPIRATION FROM WORKSHOPS
  32. 32. FACILITATION
  33. 33. FACILITATION “Ideational Facilitation Leadership” Abraham Carmeli, Paul Paulus ● 500 organisations “leadership behaviour that cultivates openness, exchange of ideas and effective discussion for creative thinking” CEO Ideational Facilitation Leadership and Team Creativity: The Mediating Role of Knowledge Sharing, 2014
  34. 34. FACILITATION
  35. 35. “How do I set the stage for innovation to happen?” FACILITATION Linda Hill “Collective Genius”
  36. 36. MEETINGS VS WORKSHOPS “A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops” Typical meeting Great workshop Aim to present content Develop content together Persuade of one right answer Exploring different options and possibilities Passive attendees Engaged participants Power dynamics Equal contributions Static Dynamic
  37. 37. A WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT’S EXPERIENCE Engagement and connection Autonomy Purpose Progress Teamwork
  38. 38. WORKSHOP CULTURE
  39. 39. one-off event multiple workshops workshop culture
  40. 40. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FORMAT FOR THE PURPOSE
  41. 41. How will you ensure equal contributions?
  42. 42. CHECK-IN ROUNDS “The more honest we are with each other, the better we work together. And that’s why check-in rounds are one of the best ways to get higher output from your team.” Braden Kowitz, Co-Founder, Range Labs
  43. 43. THE POWER OF A POST-IT NOTE
  44. 44. PRODUCTIVE CONFLICT (and avoiding groupthink)
  45. 45. divergent thinking convergent thinking
  46. 46. Asking good questions Listening Synthesising information Dealing with uncertainty
  47. 47. Look back Look outside Look forward THINK BIG PICTURE
  48. 48. BIG PICTURE THINKING WORKSHOP Review: How did we perform? Insights: What did we learn? Trends: What is happening outside our business? Wishlist: What would we do if we had no restrictions? Ideas generation: What could we do? Action: What will we do?
  49. 49. FOLLOW-UP AND NEXT STEPS
  50. 50. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS
  51. 51. DESIGN APPROACH
  52. 52. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS Meetings Sharing information
  53. 53. INTERCOM’S CULTURE OF REFLECTION
  54. 54. ETSY’S SHARING MISTAKES
  55. 55. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS Meetings Sharing information Informal conversations
  56. 56. FIKA
  57. 57. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS Meetings Sharing information Informal conversations Individual working
  58. 58. ASANA’S “NO MEETING WEDNESDAYS”
  59. 59. DROPBOX’S “ARMEETINGEDDON”
  60. 60. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS Meetings Sharing information Informal conversations Individual working Physical space
  61. 61. Don’t copy these models!
  62. 62. ASANA “CULTURE AS A PRODUCT”
  63. 63. TEAM HABITS, ROUTINES & RITUALS Creativity Problem-solving User experience Experimentation
  64. 64. How do you change behaviour?
  65. 65. START SMALL (one step at a time)
  66. 66. TEAM HABITS Design Test Repeat Iterate
  67. 67. What habits do you need to make or break to build your high-performing team?
  68. 68. 1. Teamwork is changing 2. Design mindset, facilitative approach & behaviour change 3. Make your meetings count 4. Build a “workshop culture” 5. Create better team habits DESIGNING HIGH- PERFORMING TEAMS
  69. 69. High-performing teams talk about HOW they work together It starts with a conversation
  70. 70. You can find me at: @alisoncoward bracketcreative.co.uk THANK YOU

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