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The Game of Teams

Teams are the new unit of currency in business. Harnessing the wisdom and brilliance of teams is not easy. It can be messy, confusing, non linear and complicated. Learn from your peers and thought leaders about what it takes. Listen to their stories, pains, and pride when it works. This show is about the magic of mining work and relations for high performance, satisfaction and fulfilment on teams

Mar 19, 2019

Introduction: Dr Krister Lowe is an organisational psychologist, team coach and creator of the team coaching zone podcast. Krister is a specialist in team coaching and his passion is working with teams of teams and on enterprise level coaching. This episode discusses how important teams are in the 21st century in dealing with some of the societies wicked problems. Collaboration of an order we have yet to witness is key. Krister laments how we are not well versed in Teaming skills and many of us have never really operated on a real team. The episode goes on to discuss how teams can help themselves perform well together by emphasising the structure and design of a team as well as the discipline & focus required for sustainability.  There are many ways to access potential on teams and Krister is not afraid to work with embodied techniques, our many intelligences, agile techniques and of course psychological safety as the bedrock norm for innovation and performance. 


Podcast episode summary: 

  • 60-30-10 Rule means doing significant pre-work on the part of the Leader to determine the team's purpose and the right people to support that purpose and after and quickly allowing for a team launch before a teams culture gets too enmeshed and finally doing some light tweaks to support the team stay on course or course correct as appropriate 
  • Most teams are not designed well. Krister really appreciates the Agile philosophy and believes in its efficacy for most teams especially in a world where we need more distributed leadership 
  • Agile can support Leadership teams as well using meetings more productively helping the team mine the wisdom of the team members, doing real work together as opposed to presenting information that wastes time and depletes energy
  • Using psychological safety and agile to get at faster thinking and acting –Krister describes our five intelligences and how often we overuse our analytical problem solving and consensus building rituals over the use of other forms of information and knowledge sources such as the body, our gut, heart and groin as the seat of our passion. 
  • Krister shared a story where he used his own emotional intelligence to access what was really going on a for a team in the moment, this noticing enabled the team to speak to their loss and then move into action with greater degrees of energy
  • Krister described his work working on teams of teams and the power of 5 teams being in the room together to get at synergies and interdependencies understanding the nested nature of their system 
  • Krister helps leaders move along the leadership continuum from Team Manager, through Leader of strategy and orchestration to the Leader as coach. 
  • Some nuggets: 

-Double down on team design

-Get at & focus on a few mission-critical goals 

-Have a good Team Launch

-Practice together over time  

Quotable Quotes: 

“Structure drives behaviour and culture” Krister Lowe

“Most teams are not designed well” Krister Lowe

“I have no question that when you have a team the possibility exists that it will generate magic producing something extraordinary, but don't count on it” Richard Hackman

Plans are useless but planning is indispensable” Eisenhower


Resources: the following includes the resources we alluded to over the course of our conversation

  1. 2018 Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte report.  
  2. Senior Leadership Teams, Ruth Wageman, Richard Hackman, Debra Nunes & James Burruss
  3. The Team Coaching Zone Podcast 
  4. The Team Coaching Zone website