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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

Apr 16, 2019

Introduction: This show illuminates the challenges facing leaders and teams as they move further into the 21st century. The challenge becomes how do we work with the future and how to we work in systems. Professor Peter Hawkins shares his research and argues the case for a revolution in how we think about teams, how we think about Leadership and how we operate as Team Coaches. Professor Peter Hawkins is a professor of leadership at Henley Business School, Visiting Professor University of Bath, and the University of Oxford Brookes and Chairman of Renewal Associates.  He is a leading consultant, coach, writer and researcher in organisational strategy, leadership, Culture change and team and board development. He is a prolific writer and author of many best selling books and papers in the fields of Board and Team Coaching, Leadership and Change. His books include Leadership team Coaching (3rd Edition), Leadership Team Coaching in Practice and Coaching, Mentoring, and Organisational Consultancy a book he co-authored with Nick Smith.  


Podcast episode summary: This conversation started by talking about eldership, beyond leadership and how we enable others. He spoke about how important and critical it is for teams to think in terms of collective leadership. He opined that Leadership development is still stuck in the 20th-century building 20th-century leaders rather than 21st century Leadership. Heroic Leadership is dead long live the team is one of the many articles we discussed to shape a conversation around the need for collective leadership. 


Noteworthy points of discussion

  • The days of the CEO being the only point of contact with the various interfaces of the organisation are over –it is a collective job
  • In the next five years, organisations are going to be employing fewer people, but the number of people they are partnering with will increase – how to get at collective leadership across boundaries? 
  • Increasingly leadership is moving away from how to lead “my team”, “my function”, “My organisation” and more about how to partner well
  • Brexit is an example of doing it wrong- How PM May spent two years in a win/lose framed argument asking the wrong question
  • MIndset  change required to think in terms of living on multiple teams simultaneously 100% of the time
  • All challenges lie in the connections between interfaces and not in the parts
  • The Pace of Change is such that strategizing and managing changes is a perpetual process
  • It is the purpose that creates a team and not the team creating a purpose
  • Teams must ask “what can we uniquely do that the world of tomorrow needs?”


Peter described his model: The 5 Disciplines of successful Team Practice

  • Discipline OneCo-Missioning: Ensuring a clear commission for the team and contracting on what it must deliver-The WHY
  • Discipline Two- Clarity: What can the team do together that is added value in service of the declared purpose. Here the team articulates clear team KPI’s, Objectives & Roles –The WHAT
  • Discipline Three-Co-creating: - How the team will be together, team agreements, norms etc. 
  • Discipline Four- Connecting: Engaging with all stakeholders
  • Discipline Five- Core Learning: Building individual and collective capacity to be future fit. 


Several case studies and clients were referenced in this episode where Professor Peter Hawkins described his approach to working with Executive Teams and Boards and their nested systems.  


There needs to be a revolution in coaching and as team coaches, we need to “get out of the closet” and stop thinking with the boundaries of the team. 


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

  1. Hawkins,P. (2017) Leadership Team Coaching, Developing Collective Transformational Leadership Kogan Page 
  3. Hawlins,P. Leadership Team Coaching in Practice 2nd edition, Kogan Page
  4. Hawkins,P., & Smith,N. (2013) Coaching, Mentoring and Organisational Consultancy; Maidenhead, Open Press University
  5. Hawkins,P. Creating a Coaching Culture. Maindenhead, Open Press University
  6. Youtube video about  the Five Disciplines
  7. Systemic Team Coach Training Diploma Training Program with the AoEC: 
  8. Hawkins,P. Beyond the heroic CEO, an article written for Henley Business School,