Collaboration and teamwork requirements have risen by 50%, but as anyone who has worked on a team can attest, creating a great team remains a challenge. This new book examines the questions that need to be asked and the steps that need to be taken to overcome that challenge.
“Teams That Work: The Seven Drivers of Team Effectiveness” by Scott Tannenbaum, president of The Group for Organizational Effectiveness, and Eduardo Salas, department chair of Psychological Sciences at Rice University, draws upon a growing body of psychological research and their years of experience studying and advising business teams, as well as teams in more extreme settings such as fire jumping, deep sea diving, military combat, cancer care, and at NASA.
“We saw many teams being guided by myths about teamwork and discovered that leaders could create better team experiences when they learned what really makes a difference,” Tannenbaum said. “Cracking the teamwork challenge is particularly important now, as the global pandemic has introduced new challenges to leaders and team members. Being on a struggling team is personally draining and teamwork breakdowns adversely affect the business.”
Effective teams demonstrate three things, the authors wrote. They generate positive results over time; work through challenges and bounce back from adversity; and maintain the energy and resources needed for future success. “The research reveals seven drivers that consistently determine whether a team will be effective,” Salas said.
- Capability – Do we have the right people with the right mix of knowledge, skills, and other attributes?
- Cooperation – Do team members possess the right beliefs and attitudes about their team?
- Coordination – Are team members exhibiting the necessary teamwork behaviors for team success?
- Communication – Do team members communicate effectively with each other and with people outside the team?
- Cognition – Do team members possess a shared understanding about key factors such as priorities, roles, and vision?
- Coaching – Does the leader and/or team members demonstrate the necessary leadership behaviors?
- Conditions – Is the context in which the team operates favorable for performing effectively (e.g., ample resources, supportive culture)?
The book provides insights and tips for each of the seven drivers and concludes with advice from the authors on how to be a great leader or team member, for example how to assess a team’s needs, conduct a team debrief, and avoid toxic behaviors that can derail a team.
Learn more about the book at TeamsThatWork.com.