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Collaborative Team-Building December 4, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Collaboration, Teams.
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Team Blot

The following is based on an article in the November 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review, “Ways to Build Collaborative Teams” by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson who reported on research involving members of 55 teams; team size was 4–183 people.   

Eight Factors That Lead to Successful Team Collaboration

  1. Invest in signature relationship practices–provide collaborative spaces with floor plans favoring collaboration.
  2. Model collaborative behavior– where collaboration is demonstrated well at the top, teams collaborate well.
  3. Create a gift culture–mentor and coach informally; help build networks.
  4. Ensure requisite skills–positive impact on collboration where HR teaches conflict resolution, relationship-building,  and communication skills.
  5. Support sense of community–people are more comfortable reaching out and sharing knowledge where community is felt. 
  6. Assign task and relationship-oriented team leaders–both are keys to successfully leading a team.
  7. Build on heritage relationships–have a few people on teams who know each other.
  8. Understand role clarity and task ambigity–collaboration increases when team members’ roles are defined sharply, and latitude is given on task completion.

Sharyn Heili


Creative Thinking: Better Solo Than in Teams July 8, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Creativity, Teams.

CreativityCreativityCreativity CartoonCreativity Cartoon

Recent research from the University of Indiana demonstrated that groups or teams came up with far less creative ideas together than when alone.   The University studied consumer choice involving a brand of soft drinks.   They asked individuals to come up with alternative brands after showing them one brand.  Alone the inidviduals came up with far more choices than when in a group.   

Do meetings make us dumber,  as the headline to the MSNBC suggests, or does our creative thinking really diminish when we are in team meetings?  Are we less effective trying to solve problems “thinking outside the box” in groups than alone? 

More research will likely give us the answers.   It will be interesting to watch, especially since businesses and libraries have been forming teams and touting their effectiveness.

I know that my best creative thinking comes while I’m driving in the car alone or in the shower, obviously very alone.  

Sharyn Heili