Are your teams chaos-compatible? Premium
How has teamwork changed over the past two decades? Today’s teams encounter ongoing uncertainty, complexity, and the need to collaborate across geographic, functional, and hierarchical divisions — work situations that call for flexible leadership conducive to improvisation.
Amy Edmondson invites teams to go from blind obedience to the rules to a more flexible style of execution— what she calls teaming — by practicing the following four behaviors:
1) Experimentation: adopt an iterative approach, continually proposing new ideas to see what others think and test out different strategies and tactics
2) Reflection: reflect daily or during natural breaks in the work on what is succeeding or not and the lessons that can be taken from recent experiences
3) Collaboration: sharing information, coordinating actions and plans, discussing progress and setbacks.
4) Speaking up: engaging in frank, honest communications — discussing problems, asking questions and for help when necessary — without worrying about seeming ignorant, incompetent, or overly negative
Business leader testimony
Improvisation, diversity, and flexibility within teams creates more opportunity for better results but also means having to cope with less controlled, more unpredictable processes, says Tristram Carfrae, the Arup senior structural engineer who led his company’s team in the design of the Beijing Olympics aquatics facility, known informally as the Water Cube.
Read our dossier
Are your teams chaos-compatible?
Business Digest no. 229, September 2012.
Based on Teaming, by Amy C. Edmondson (Jossey-Bass, April 2012) and the interview with Tristram Carfrae, Royal Designer for Industry and senior structural engineer, Arup.
One of the greatest risks to team stability, explains Dr Mark de Rond, recently returned from fieldwork with the high-performance surgical teams at Britain’s Camp Bastion military hospital in Afghanistan, is boredom.