Monday, November 25, 2013
Recently, I was helping a team think through the imminent arrival
of a new leader. They had been preparing and talking with a variety
of consultants and advisors about the transition. One firm shared a
one-page overview and an article about their approach, which they
passed on to me. As I read it,...
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
With the amount of attention on virtual teams and the number of
questions I get on how to make virtual teams work, I thought it
would be valuable to provide some tips and advice. This is part 3
in a series on helping your virtual team get real. You can see the
first two posts in the series here:...
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
In this series, I’m sorting out the fact from fiction on
virtual teams and giving you a few practical suggestions to help
your virtual team get real. In the first post, I advocated for the
importance of small talk and rapport building. In this post:
dealing with the challenges of satellite...
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Much is made of the difference between co-located and so-called
virtual teams. I think the moniker is pretty silly, because
the teams with members who sit in different countries aren’t any
less real than teams that sit practically on one another’s
laps. What is very real is the challenge of making...
Friday, August 9, 2013
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been called into an
organization to help build a culture of teamwork, only to learn
that people are measured, managed, and rewarded around individual
performance. If success in your organization is defined exclusively
by personal effort and achievement,...
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Humans are complicated, idiosyncratic, and fallible. Take eight to
ten of them, combine them into a team and pressure them to produce
results and you have the ingredients for dysfunction. So it’s no
surprise that organizations are frequently looking to outside
experts to assist with team...
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
In my last Knightsbridge blog post, I gave you some tips on what to
do when a teammate gets fired. Today, I’m focusing on the other
side of the coin. What if a teammate quits? It can feel
really terrible—like you’re being dumped. “No really, it’s about
me, not you.” Yeah, right! Here are some...
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
It’s an unpleasant reality of the modern workplace—at some point,
you will probably have a teammate who gets fired. We get
uncomfortable and awkward in these situations and that’s not
helpful to anyone. Here’s some quick tips for what to do when
a teammate gets fired. 1. Stop speculating: In my...
Friday, May 3, 2013
You’ve bonded with your teammates; built trust and established open
lines of communication. You’re a model of modern teamwork.
That is—until the playoffs pit your favorite team against the
favorite of your colleague. Whether it’s the NHL playoffs and
you’re embroiled in an original-six rivalry,...
Thursday, April 18, 2013
An executive asked me a really interesting question in a team
session recently: “Which should be our first team?” What he was
talking about was the divided loyalties of leading one team (your
team of direct reports) and participating as a member of another
team (the executive team). It’s a great...
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Imagine this scenario. You gave a presentation at your team
meeting today. It was a progress report on your big project. Around
the table, heads nodded. Then this afternoon, you were walking down
the hallway when you overheard a conversation between two
teammates. One was complaining loudly about...
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I read a great blog about what to do if you’re feeling
under-utilized on your team. The article was by Career expert
Chrissy Scivicque. You can read it here. One of her useful
suggestions (after making sure you’re doing your current job to
perfection) was to make a specific request of your boss...
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The biggest mistake that teams make is not answering the question
“Why are we a team?” It seems the time has finally come when
organizations are taking seriously the role of teams in
productivity, growth, and innovation. I’ve been busier than
ever. That means I’ve been meeting new teams and asking...
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I had a great week last week taking our crusade to end the misery
of bad teams to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. As I always do
when I get the privilege of standing in front of an audience, I
asked about the local customs around team building. (The recovering
scientist in me can’t resist the chance...
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
We've had a few new hires on the team recently and it's inspired me
to share some tips for doing a great job of welcoming them and
contributing to team effectiveness from the first moment on the
job. Most of us have joined a company only to find no desk, no
computer, or no one to eat with on day...
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A while back, a client of mine asked if she could buy me lunch and
get some ideas about how to handle a prickly situation on her team.
I shared a few ideas that were simple, but I think they were
helpful. As we got up to leave the restaurant, she said to me “you
always have the right words to say!”...
Monday, December 3, 2012
In my previous post, I argued that teams should stop trying to
reduce tension and start using that tension to propel them forward.
Doing so requires that you focus on the tension between what is
today and what needs to be for the future. I call this vertical
tension. To be effective, the vertical...
Monday, November 26, 2012
How do you reduce the tension on your team? You don't: you
redirect it. I was standing in front of the Executive Team of a
large hospital. We were in the midst of an intensive
leadership development program when a member of the team asked
“should there be tension on a healthy team?” What a great...
Monday, November 19, 2012
Teams are about relationships. Relationship are about
communication. Communication is the sender AND the receiver. If
there is one fundamental concept that you can apply to making your
team more effective, it's to get really good at understanding
intent and impact in communications. I see situations...
Monday, November 12, 2012
Don't do a team building session that will make things worse! Most
team building methods dive into the “juicy” issues at the first
session—sometimes on the first agenda item. This is a dangerous
approach and makes it just as likely that your team will leave the
session more bruised, more hostile, or...