March 8, 2016

Google Notes Five Building Blocks as Keys to Team Effectiveness

An on-line article from World Economic Forum (released in December 2015), Google shares what they believe to be the five keys to effective teams within their organization. I agree with them from my experience teaching team-building and facilitating teams through various stages of development.  So I thought I would do a comparison of their keys to skills taught in typical team-building training, programs, and books
1. Psychological Safety equates to team members building trust for each other so they are not afraid to voice ideas or opinions in meetings, as well as take risks in improving their work processes. See RARA A Meeting Wizard’s Approach to improve team meetings and start getting action items done. 
2. Dependability means all team members are accountable to one another for assigned action items or projects, and getting necessary work done. See TAPP Steps in Time Management if team members do not know how to plan their time.    
3. Structure and Clarity happens when team members understand their roles, help develop plans, and set goals.  This is especially important for team start-up and when new members are introduced to the team.  See Team Building Primer for how to do this.
4. Meaning/Motivation in a team’s work leads to higher commitment because their work is important to each member and they all are able to participate in developing their goals, assigning tasks, making training plans, and designing (or redesigning) their processes for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
5. Impact/Results come when the team reaches milestones and goals along their development path and truly understand that their work matters to the organization.  Then the team members will be able to take greater risks, be more flexible on project assignments, and be comfortable leading change efforts.  See OPIE Project Planning and Implementation for Teams for work teams occasionally working on small projects which do not require all aspects of full project management.

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