robertogreco + teamwork   38

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times
"Project Aristotle’s researchers began by reviewing a half-century of academic studies looking at how teams worked. Were the best teams made up of people with similar interests? Or did it matter more whether everyone was motivated by the same kinds of rewards? Based on those studies, the researchers scrutinized the composition of groups inside Google: How often did teammates socialize outside the office? Did they have the same hobbies? Were their educational backgrounds similar? Was it better for all teammates to be outgoing or for all of them to be shy? They drew diagrams showing which teams had overlapping memberships and which groups had exceeded their departments’ goals. They studied how long teams stuck together and if gender balance seemed to have an impact on a team’s success.

No matter how researchers arranged the data, though, it was almost impossible to find patterns — or any evidence that the composition of a team made any difference. ‘‘We looked at 180 teams from all over the company,’’ Dubey said. ‘‘We had lots of data, but there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.’’

Some groups that were ranked among Google’s most effective teams, for instance, were composed of friends who socialized outside work. Others were made up of people who were basically strangers away from the conference room. Some groups sought strong managers. Others preferred a less hierarchical structure. Most confounding of all, two teams might have nearly identical makeups, with overlapping memberships, but radically different levels of effectiveness. ‘‘At Google, we’re good at finding patterns,’’ Dubey said. ‘‘There weren’t strong patterns here.’’

As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as ‘‘group norms.’’ Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we gather: One team may come to a consensus that avoiding disagreement is more valuable than debate; another team might develop a culture that encourages vigorous arguments and spurns groupthink. Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound. Team members may behave in certain ways as individuals — they may chafe against authority or prefer working independently — but when they gather, the group’s norms typically override individual proclivities and encourage deference to the team.

Project Aristotle’s researchers began searching through the data they had collected, looking for norms. They looked for instances when team members described a particular behavior as an ‘‘unwritten rule’’ or when they explained certain things as part of the ‘‘team’s culture.’’ Some groups said that teammates interrupted one another constantly and that team leaders reinforced that behavior by interrupting others themselves. On other teams, leaders enforced conversational order, and when someone cut off a teammate, group members would politely ask everyone to wait his or her turn. Some teams celebrated birthdays and began each meeting with informal chitchat about weekend plans. Other groups got right to business and discouraged gossip. There were teams that contained outsize personalities who hewed to their group’s sedate norms, and others in which introverts came out of their shells as soon as meetings began.

After looking at over a hundred groups for more than a year, Project Aristotle researchers concluded that understanding and influencing group norms were the keys to improving Google’s teams. But Rozovsky, now a lead researcher, needed to figure out which norms mattered most. Google’s research had identified dozens of behaviors that seemed important, except that sometimes the norms of one effective team contrasted sharply with those of another equally successful group. Was it better to let everyone speak as much as they wanted, or should strong leaders end meandering debates? Was it more effective for people to openly disagree with one another, or should conflicts be played down? The data didn’t offer clear verdicts. In fact, the data sometimes pointed in opposite directions. The only thing worse than not finding a pattern is finding too many of them. Which norms, Rozovsky and her colleagues wondered, were the ones that successful teams shared?"



"As the researchers studied the groups, however, they noticed two behaviors that all the good teams generally shared. First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’ On some teams, everyone spoke during each task; on others, leadership shifted among teammates from assignment to assignment. But in each case, by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount. ‘‘As long as everyone got a chance to talk, the team did well,’’ Woolley said. ‘‘But if only one person or a small group spoke all the time, the collective intelligence declined.’’

Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues. One of the easiest ways to gauge social sensitivity is to show someone photos of people’s eyes and ask him or her to describe what the people are thinking or feeling — an exam known as the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. People on the more successful teams in Woolley’s experiment scored above average on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. They seemed to know when someone was feeling upset or left out. People on the ineffective teams, in contrast, scored below average. They seemed, as a group, to have less sensitivity toward their colleagues."



"When Rozovsky and her Google colleagues encountered the concept of psychological safety in academic papers, it was as if everything suddenly fell into place. One engineer, for instance, had told researchers that his team leader was ‘‘direct and straightforward, which creates a safe space for you to take risks.’’ That team, researchers estimated, was among Google’s accomplished groups. By contrast, another engineer had told the researchers that his ‘‘team leader has poor emotional control.’’ He added: ‘‘He panics over small issues and keeps trying to grab control. I would hate to be driving with him being in the passenger seat, because he would keep trying to grab the steering wheel and crash the car.’’ That team, researchers presumed, did not perform well.

Most of all, employees had talked about how various teams felt. ‘‘And that made a lot of sense to me, maybe because of my experiences at Yale,’’ Rozovsky said. ‘‘I’d been on some teams that left me feeling totally exhausted and others where I got so much energy from the group.’’ Rozovsky’s study group at Yale was draining because the norms — the fights over leadership, the tendency to critique — put her on guard. Whereas the norms of her case-competition team — enthusiasm for one another’s ideas, joking around and having fun — allowed everyone to feel relaxed and energized.

For Project Aristotle, research on psychological safety pointed to particular norms that are vital to success. There were other behaviors that seemed important as well — like making sure teams had clear goals and creating a culture of dependability. But Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.

‘‘We had to get people to establish psychologically safe environments,’’ Rozovsky told me. But it wasn’t clear how to do that. ‘‘People here are really busy,’’ she said. ‘‘We needed clear guidelines.’’

However, establishing psychological safety is, by its very nature, somewhat messy and difficult to implement. You can tell people to take turns during a conversation and to listen to one another more. You can instruct employees to be sensitive to how their colleagues feel and to notice when someone seems upset. But the kinds of people who work at Google are often the ones who became software engineers because they wanted to avoid talking about feelings in the first place.

Rozovsky and her colleagues had figured out which norms were most critical. Now they had to find a way to make communication and empathy — the building blocks of forging real connections — into an algorithm they could easily scale."



"Project Aristotle is a reminder that when companies try to optimize everything, it’s sometimes easy to forget that success is often built on experiences — like emotional interactions and complicated conversations and discussions of who we want to be and how our teammates make us feel — that can’t really be optimized. Rozovsky herself was reminded of this midway through her work with the Project Aristotle team. ‘‘We were in a meeting where I made a mistake,’’ Rozovsky told me. She sent out a note afterward explaining how she was going to remedy the problem. ‘‘I got an email back from a team member that said, ‘Ouch,’ ’’ she recalled. ‘‘It was like a punch to the gut. I was already upset about making this mistake, and this note totally played on my insecurities.’’"
charlesduhigg  google  teams  teamwork  groups  groupdynamics  juliarozovsky  psychology  norms  groupnorms  communication  2016  siliconvalley  collaboration  projectaristotle  behavior  safety  emocions  socialemotional  empathy  psychologicalsafety  leadership  socialemotionallearning 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Together - Rob Brackett
"When people ask me about Draft, I usually say it’s a pretty decent product made by a pretty good guy named Nate. It’s got a slew of useful features (plenty more than Editorially had) and more are coming at an incredibly fast clip.

We had more people working full time on Editorially, but we couldn’t match Draft’s speed or features. It took us a while to do things that one person with a simple idea might be able able to bang out pretty quickly.

At Editorially, I could pretty much guarantee that the first attempt any of us made at anything would be quickly followed by a deluge of ideas for how it could be approached differently, coexist better with some other part of the product, or how it could simply be improved. I threw out so much great code because it wasn’t the right code. I doubt we ever built anything less than twice. Our pull requests often featured very active discussions, annotated screenshots, and animated gifs demonstrating ideas.

It took us much longer than Nate to get these things done. Sometimes I worried that we were too slow. But I knew, very surely, that the product was dramatically better for the time and effort we took to work together. Where Draft had lengthy menus, an inconsistent interface, or an imperfect workflow, Editorially shone.1

Of course, we also had our share of miscommunications and mistakes. Sometimes we locked horns. I wish we’d collaborated as well around the code as we did around the user experience. There were still plenty of bugs. No collaboration is perfect.

When Paul concludes:
“It’s important to remember that many of these tools are built as side-projects, whereas Editorially benefited from a full-time team working on the product for a year. There is plenty of promise in each of these apps, and with continued development we may see a worthy successor.”

I think of all the teams I’ve known that don’t collaborate well. I think, too, of all the individuals and side projects I’ve seen be highly successful because of a few close collaborators. And I think of everyone I could depend on at Editorially to push back on my hare-brained schemes, sometimes encourage them, and always force me to think more critically about my work.

The strength of our collaborations just might be the most essential part of every endeavor we take on."
robbrackett  collaboration  editorially  mandybrown  teamwork  howwework  criticism  slow  critique  2014  remote 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The Pastry Box Project: Jason Santa Maria
"When I want to find out more about my own work, I ask a question. When someone asks me to look at their work, I ask a question. It’s a silly thing to say, but it took me years to do that. 

It’s silly because it’s probably obvious to you, or to anyone who’s thought about it for a moment: If you want to get a better understanding of something, asking a question is infinitely more useful than making a statement. 

It took me years to get there because I fell into the same trap many young designers do when in a critique—I tried to participate by offering answers. 

Answers are appealing, of course, as is the idea of a charismatic leader who has pockets full of them. But of all the work I’ve done, the projects I consider most successful were accomplished by teamwork. Answers shouldn’t come from one single person, no matter how skilled they may be. Instead, they come as a result of discussion among peers. 

Asking questions is at the heart of collaboration, more so than any project management software or process. And if you want to truly collaborate, I’ve found you need to allow yourself to be someone without the answers."
questions  listening  collaboration  2014  askingquestions  curiosity  answers  leadership  criticism  howwework  tcsnmy  design  teamwork  discussion  conversation  questionasking 
march 2014 by robertogreco
russell davies: a unit of delivery
"When I start telling advertising/marketing people about this stuff the same themes seem to come up. So let's address those:

This is not about a bunch of private sector digital experts parachuting in to save the day. (Although we might sometimes behave like that, which is bad.) I'm not sure of the metaphor but we're somewhere between a catalyst, the tip of the iceberg and in the right place at the right time. We've certainly been very lucky. We are civil servants, most of us long-time civil servants. We are building on years of work from fellow civil servants who haven't had the benefit of our mandate. And we're working with huge numbers of colleagues across government who are as talented, driven and imaginative as we are, they've just been stuck in systems that don't let that flourish. Part of our job is to help shift those systems.

This is not about comms. We're not the new COI. We don't spend money on marketing, even digital marketing. Personally I think GOV.UK will soon be a great example of a new way of thinking about that stuff ('the product is the service is the marketing') but that's a post for another day. When we do use traditional 'agency-type' comms and design skills (which we do ourselves) it's to help the service/product communicate about itself. (That probably doesn't make sense yet, I've still not found a way to explain that properly.)

There is no 'client'. This really messes with agency people's heads. Obviously we're accountable if we screw up, the website falls over, the facts are wrong or the site's unusable. But it's not an agency-type relationship where someone distant and important has to 'approve' everything. This is mostly because our chief responsibility is to our users - they approve our decisions by using or not using the services we offer them. Or by complaining about them, which they sometimes do. Also, because you just can't do Agile with a traditional client-approval methodology. That's going to be a thing agencies are going to have to deal with."



"But, what does this mean for BRANDS!!?

Nothing. Obviously.

Well, maybe a bit. Iain was kind enough, the other day, to point back at a post I wrote about working at W+K [http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2006/07/7_things_i_lear_1.html ]. I think there's a similar post brewing after a year and a bit of GDS. I have learnt an incredible amount here and I think there are some obvious lessons for agencies and their clients in what we've been up to.

As a tantalising teaser I'd say they are:

1. The Unit of Delivery is The Team

2. The Product Is The Service Is The Marketing

3. Digital is Not Comms, And It's Not IT, It's Your Business

And a bunch of others to be named later.

Anyway. I'll try and come up with something useful."

[See also: https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/2bfa73373a9a ]

[Update 5 Feb 2014: see Dan Hon's remarks on the same: http://tinyletter.com/danhon/letters/episode-nine-everything-in-silos-forever-and-ever-amen ]
gov.uk  wieden+kennedy  russelldavies  2013  marketing  branding  government  agile  digital  business  services  teams  teamwork 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Updated: My speech at The Economist (on innovation)
"First, most teams don’t work. They don’t trust each other. They are not led in a way that creates a culture where people feel trust. Think of most of your peers  – how many do you trust? How many would you trust with a special, dangerous, or brilliant idea?  I’d say, based on my experiences at many organizations, only one of every three teams, in all of the universe, has a culture of trust. Without trust, there is no collaboration. Without trust, ideas do not go anywhere even if someone finds the courage to mention them at all."



"Without teams of trust and good leaders who take risks innovation rarely happens. You can have all the budget in the world, and resources, and gadgets, and theories and S-curves and it won’t matter at all. Occam’s razor suggests the main barrier to innovation are simple cultural things we overlook because we like to believe we’re so advanced. But mostly, we’re not."



"Next, we need to get past our obsession with epiphany. You won’t find any flash of insight in history that wasn’t followed, or proceeded, by years of hard work. Ideas are easy. They are cheap. Any creativity book or course will help you find more ideas. What’s rare is the willingness to bet you reputation, career, or finances on your ideas. To commit fully to pursuing them. Ideas are abstractions. Executing and manifesting an idea in the world is something else entirely as there are constraints, political, financial, and technical that the ideas we keep locked up in our minds never have to wrestle with. And this distinction is something no theory or book or degree can ever grant you. Conviction, like trust and willingness to take risks, is exceptionally rare. Part of the reason so much of innovation is driven by entrepreneurs and independents is that they are fully committed to their own ideas in ways most working people, including executives, are not.

Lastly, I need to talk about words. I’m a writer and a speaker, so words are my trade. But words are important, and possibly dangerous, for everyone. A fancy word I want to share is the word reification. Reification is the confusion between the word for something and the thing itself. The word innovation is not itself an innovation. Words are cheap. You can put the word innovation on the back of a box, or in an advertisement, or even in the name of your company, but that does not make it so. Words like radical, game-changing, breakthrough, and disruptive are similarly used to suggest something in lieu of actually being it. You can say innovative as many times as you want, but it won’t make you an innovator, nor make inventions, patents or profits magically appear in your hands."
words  innovation  trust  teams  teamwork  leadership  administration  tcsnmy  ideas  howwework  howwelearn  risktaking  culture  conviction  gamechanging  disruption  invention  epiphanies  2010 
may 2013 by robertogreco
DrupalCon Portland 2013: DESIGN OPS: A UX WORKFLOW FOR 2013 - YouTube
"Hey, the dev team gets all these cool visual analytics, code metrics, version control, revision tagging, configuration management, continuous integration ... and the UX design team just passes around Photoshop files?

Taking clues from DevOps and Lean UX, "DesignOps" advocates more detailed and durable terminology about the cycle of user research, design and production. DesignOps seeks to first reduce the number of design artifacts, to eliminate the pain of prolonged design decisions. DesignOps assumes that the remaining design artifacts aren't actionable until they are reasonably archived and linked in a coherent way that serves the entire development team.

This talk will introduce the idea of DesignOps with the assumption that the audience has experience with a basic user research cycle — iterative development with any kind of user feedback.

DesignOps is a general approach, intended to help with a broad array of questions from usability testing issues, documentation archiving, production-time stress, and general confusion on your team:

What are the general strategies for managing the UX design process?
How do you incorporate feedback without huge cost?
What happened to that usability test result from last year?
How much space goes between form elements?
Why does the design cycle make me want to drink bleach?
WTF why does our website look like THIS?
* Features turnkey full-stack (Vagrant ) installation of ubuntu with drupal 7 install profile utilizing both php and ruby development tools, with all examples configured for live css compilation"
chrisblow  contradictions  just  simply  must  2013  drupal  drupalcon  designops  fear  ux  terminology  design  audience  experience  shame  usability  usabilitytesting  work  stress  archiving  confusion  relationships  cv  canon  collaboration  howwework  workflow  versioncontrol  versioning  failure  iteration  flickr  tracker  creativecommons  googledrive  tags  tagging  labels  labeling  navigation  urls  spreadsheets  links  permissions  googledocs  timelines  basecamp  cameras  sketching  universal  universality  teamwork  principles  bullshitdetection  users  clients  onlinetoolkit  offtheshelf  tools  readymadetools  readymade  crapdetection  maps  mapping  userexperience  research  designresearch  ethnography  meetup  consulting  consultants  templates  stencils  bootstrap  patterns  patternlibraries  buzzwords  css  sass  databases  compass  webdev  documentation  sharing  backups  maintenance  immediacy  process  decisionmaking  basics  words  filingsystems  systems  writing  facilitation  expression  operations  exoskeletons  clarification  creativity  bots  shellscripts  notes  notetaking  notebo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Phoenix live on Q | Q with Jian Ghomeshi | CBC Radio
[Audio here: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/qpodcast_20130326_57910.mp3 ]

"We just tried to… let it be what it is supposed to be."

"We love to be control freaks in the studio. And then after that we let it go, but in the studio can be a neurotic experience sometimes."

"The idea is that there is no consensus because consensus leads to something in the middle, something that's not really interesting. It's more four strong political forces that try to make their point… We know each other so well since we were kids that we don't really need to talk… We just argue."

"It's the only record we made that revealed itself at the end… the last two weeks. … We accepted the songs… they became songs at the end."

"We are slaves to that thing we are reaching for."

"We are looking for something that we don't know what it is. But when it's there, there's a feeling of evidence — here it is finally. So exhausting it can be because you don't know how far you are. You always have the impression that you are very far. Sometime it just happens. [It's exhausting] Especially if you are not sure it exists."

"I like the [artistic] plateau image."

"We're no good alone as individual musicians. It's the foursome that brings the magic."

"We don't know how to play with other musicians. I tried with friends to do sessions a few times times and it was always a disaster."

"You know those big architectural masterpieces that they [ants] can built, but separately they are just ants. … We are a very small colony [of ants]."

"I wouldn't even want to do them [sessions with other musicians]. I wouldn't be good at it, I think I would be sad."

"We grew up with this idea that being skilled musicians wasn't the point really, it was about making good records. It made so much more sense than just spending twelve hours a day just ruining your fingers on an instrument."

"We were one of the first generations that could make an album in their bedroom that sounded good. We were lucky about that because that allowed us to be bad musicians."

"Boredom is the enemy of the human being."

"Our trick is to keep it very amateur, in a way. It demands actually a lot of effort. It is easier to be pro than to be semi-pro."

"When we have the choice between doing something on our own or doing it with very skilled individuals, we always prefer the amateur route, which brings more charm. We believe in charm more than in perfection. And, also the hardest part is on tour. Touring can bring you the most boring life ever, which is the rock star life. People should know it's the most boring thing ever, so we fight very hard every day to make something interesting. ["How do you do that?] We have bikes. You have to just escape this block where you our. We love sake [the drink]. One of our tricks is that we check where the best sake is in town. This is the starting point. Then hopefully you get advice from the people that own the shop."

["What would be the collective goal for Phoenix at this point? What are you reaching for as a band? What would you like to happen? Where would you like to be a few years from now?"] "I'm not sure we want to know what this would be. We like questions more than answers, I think. I'm not sure we want to know. Right now we are taking it a week ahead. There are some festivals coming that I don't think we are ready, but it makes it exciting that there's this tension, that there's a sense of danger, this idea that you can fail. That's something that you need to make something out of it. You need this possibility to fail."

"We see this big mountain and we immediately look for the north face because it's going to be more exciting. And then we climb it barefoot. And that's the beginning. And then we are there, hopefully, we go down and then there's another mountain. And that's another week."
phoenix  music  jianghomeshi  interviews  collaboration  creativity  life  glvo  cv  2013  process  howwework  teamwork  boredom  amateurs  professionals 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Lean Production | Jacobin
"School managers promote teams as empowering for teachers; according to management, they give teachers a say in how their schools are run. In reality, these meetings highlight how little control teachers have over their time and workload at lean schools… In fact, the apparent purpose of teacher teams is to shift administrative workload onto teachers."

"The goal of lean education isn’t teaching or learning; it’s creating lean workplaces where teachers are stretched to their limits so that students can receive the minimum support necessary to produce satisfactory test scores. It is critical for teachers to see this clearly because lean production is indeed “continuous”: in other words, it’s insatiable. The harder teachers work to satisfy the demands of lean managers, the harder we will be pushed, until we break down. There is no end to this process."
leadership  administration  teamleadership  tfa  schoolsasbusiness  business  teamwork  criticalfriends  mikeparker  janeslaughter  michaelbloomberg  wendykopp  valueadded  assessment  charleyrichardson  2012  danieljones  jameswomack  tcsnmy  efficiency  production  schools  teaching  leanproduction  capitalism  publiceducation  taylorism  labor  teachforamerica  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
What happens in the dark?
"Things like this happen when you give a book to a group of people, a set of potential allies, ahead of time—when you give them just that, time: to read it, to love it, to make it their own and share it with people of their own. It takes patience (never my strong suit) but the reward is real: a group of allies larger and more far-flung than any you yourself could ever assemble.

I use the word far-flung with some precision. Right now, publishers beyond these borders are taking the book and truly making it their own, translating it into Italian, German… Please allow the following series of exclamation marks to represent the magnitude of my delight: !!!!!

It’s like the planning before a surprise party. You: bring the balloons. You: buy some noisemakers. You: translate the message on the cake into Italian. And you: watch the door. We’re all in on this now. The room is dark and the book is glowing. It’s almost October, and there are footsteps in the hall.

Soon, the lights will come on."
teamwork  patience  sharing  publishing  robinsloan  allies  collaboration  books  mrpenumbra  2012  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe • The trick to fostering collective creativity,...
“The trick to fostering collective creativity, Catmull says, is threefold: Place the creative authority for product development firmly in the hands of the project leaders (as opposed to corporate executives); build a culture and processes that encourage people to share their work-in-progress and support one another as peers; and dismantle the natural barriers that divide disciplines.”
administration  management  leadership  tcsnmy  cv  sharing  risktaking  peer-assessment  2008  teamwork  authority  hierarchy  creativity  pixar  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Values, Vision, Mission & Strategy — Mind & Life Institute
"The Mind & Life Institute is a non-profit organization that seeks to understand the human mind and the benefits of contemplative practices through an integrated mode of knowing that combines first person knowledge from the world’s contemplative traditions with methods and findings from contemporary scientific inquiry. Ultimately, our goal is to relieve human suffering and advance well-being.

Values
To guide us in our Mission, Vision and Strategy, the Mind & Life Institute has adopted a set of core values:

Love, Mindfulness and Compassion
Trust and Integrity
Teamwork and Collaboration
Impeccability and Continuous Improvement
Open Communication and Transparency
We aspire to bring these values into our work, lives and culture as we grow the Mind and Life Family of researchers, contemplatives and participants."
massachusetts  resilience  well-being  life  living  opencommunication  communication  transparency  self-improvement  collaboration  teamwork  integrity  trust  mindfulness  via:thatistyping  dalailama  mindandlifeinstitute 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Rise of the New Groupthink - NYTimes.com
"But even if the problems are different, human nature remains the same. And most humans have two contradictory impulses: we love and need one another, yet we crave privacy and autonomy.

To harness the energy that fuels both these drives, we need to move beyond the New Groupthink and embrace a more nuanced approach to creativity and learning. Our offices should encourage casual, cafe-style interactions, but allow people to disappear into personalized, private spaces when they want to be alone. Our schools should teach children to work with others, but also to work on their own for sustained periods of time. And we must recognize that introverts like Steve Wozniak need extra quiet and privacy to do their best work."
committees  susancain  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  online  web  internet  communication  proust  efficiency  howwelearn  learning  interruption  freedom  privacy  schooldesign  lcproject  officedesign  tranquility  distraction  meetings  thinking  quiet  brainstorming  teamwork  introverts  stevewozniak  innovation  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  flow  cv  collaboration  howwework  groupthink  solitude  productivity  creativity  marcelproust 
january 2012 by robertogreco
A History Of Violence Edge Master Class 2011 | Conversation | Edge
"There are studies showing that violence is more common when people are confined to one pecking order, and all of their social worth depends on where they are in that hierarchy, whereas if they belong to multiple overlapping groups, they can always seek affirmations of worth elsewhere. For example, if I do something stupid when I’m driving, and someone gives me the finger and calls me an asshole, it’s not the end of the world: I think to myself, I’m a tenured professor at Harvard. On the other hand, if status among men in the street was my only source of worth in life, I might have road rage and pull out a gun. Modernity comprises a lot of things, and it’s hard to tease them apart. But I suspect that when you’re not confined to a village or a clan, and you can seek your fortunes in a wide world, that is a pacifying force for exactly that reason."
history  violence  psychology  stevenpinker  hierarchy  humanities  philosophy  society  brain  mind  murder  crime  war  genocide  democracy  hatecrimes  race  class  time  scheduling  mentors  mentoring  doing  teamwork  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
The Auteur Myth | Wired Science | Wired.com
"…it’s also important to remember that nobody creates Vertigo or the iPad by themselves; even auteurs need the support of a vast system. When you look closely at auteurs, what you often find is that their real genius is for the the assembly of creative teams, trusting the right people with the right tasks at the right time. Sure, they make the final decisions, but they are choosing between alternatives created by others. When we frame auteurs as engaging in the opposite of collaboration, when we obsess over Hitchcock’s narrative flair but neglect Lehman’s script, or think about Jobs’ aesthetic but not Ive’s design (or the design of those working for Ives), we are indulging in a romantic vision of creativity that rarely exists. Even geniuses need a little help."
jonahlehrer  creativity  collaboration  alfredhitchcock  stevejobs  johngruber  design  film  decisionmaking  auteurs  howwework  constraints  support  making  business  teamwork  leadership  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
ZURB – How Design Teamwork Crushes Bureaucracy
"People who can’t communicate w/ each other get stuck making complicated ‘stuff’ to make up for it. Frustration turns into PowerPoints, complicated charts, & lots of meetings…requires layers upon layers of management to keep organized…weighs companies down…creates no direct value to customers. This is why there are so many lame products in the world. There’s not a wireframe or chart or design method that is going to save you if you can’t look your team members in the eye."

"Our teamwork made up for the lack of ‘stuff’ other companies would use because we:

Shared a clear goal that we all understood…Worked physically close to each other & stayed connected by IM and phone when we didn’t…Shared feedback w/ each other & from customers out in the open every day, which builds confidence in arguing & makes new conversations really easy to beginStayed together through thick and thin to build trust in one another"
teamwork  teams  administration  management  tcsnmy  toshare  bureaucracy  organizations  goals  purpose  community  communication  collegiality  feedback  constructivecriticism  argument  arguing  discussion  proximity  powerpoint  irrationalcomplexity  rules  control  missingthepoint  trust  2011  zurb  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Drive - by Daniel Pink | Derek Sivers
"Your best approach is to have already established the conditions of a genuinely motivating environment. The baseline rewards must be sufficient. That is, the team’s basic compensation must be adequate and fair - particularly compared with people doing similar work for similar organizations. Your nonprofit must be a congenial place to work. And the people on your team must have autonomy, they must have ample opportunity to pursue mastery, and their daily duties must relate to a larger purpose. If these elements are in place, the best strategy is to provide a sense of urgency and significance - and then get out of the talent’s way.

Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete. Holding out a prize at the beginning of a project - and offering it as a contingency - will inevitably focus people’s attention on obtaining the reward rather than on attacking the problem."

[via: http://gaiwan.tumblr.com/post/7206114293 ]
books  drive  danielpink  motivation  extrinsicmotivation  teams  teamwork  autonomy  nonprofit  urgency  significance  talent  work  management  administration  congeniality  howwework  nonprofits  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Penumbra has a posse > Robin Sloan
"…another char­ac­ter in this story…Sean McDonald.

…an edi­tor at Far­rar, Straus & Giroux. He’s worked with writ­ers as diverse as Junot Díaz (n.b.), John Hodg­man, and the RZA…also a Snark­mar­ket reader (!) & he’s been an impor­tant vec­tor of enthu­si­asm & encour­age­ment…because his mes­sages have always been two-​​fold. First: this is so cool. Then: it can be even better.

& that gets exactly to the heart of why I’m work­ing with Sarah & Sean to pub­lish Penum­bra. You know me: I am a cham­pion of new modes & meth­ods. I love Kick­starter projects & remix con­tests…not going to stop doing any of that stuff.

…when…shop­ping the Penum­bra man­u­script around…I told [publishers] all the same thing: I’m look­ing for a posse…a smart, cre­ative crew who will help me make this book bet­ter than I could make it on my own.

…isn’t just text on a scree…It’s the design, the phys­i­cal arti­fact…press…events we’ll dream up…real books in real book­stores…"
robinsloan  mrpenumbra  publishing  2011  farrarstraus&giroux  seanmcdonald  sarahburnes  posses  books  events  kickstarter  kindle  gernertcompany  remixing  teamwork  snarkmarket  creativity  collaboration  tcsnmy  classideas  remixculture 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Six Common Misperceptions about Teamwork - J. Richard Hackman - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review [Wish someone I knew could get #1, #2, #3, and #5 straightened out]
"Teamwork and collaboration are critical to mission achievement in any organization that has to respond quickly to changing circumstances. My research in the U.S. intelligence community has not only affirmed that idea but also surfaced a number of mistaken beliefs about teamwork that can sidetrack productive collaboration…

Misperception #1: Harmony helps. Smooth interaction among collaborators avoids time-wasting debates about how best to proceed… [A description of what actually is the case follows each]

Misperception #2: It's good to mix it up. New members bring energy and fresh ideas to a team…

Misperception #3: Bigger is better…

Misperception #4: Face-to-face interaction is passé…

Misperception #5: It all depends on the leader…

Misperception #6: Teamwork is magical."
collaboration  business  management  leadership  administration  tcsnmy  via:steelemaley  culture  teams  work  small  groups  harmony  disagreement  teamwork  consistency  time  meetings  productivity  problemsolving  classideas  lcproject  myths  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Joining the MIT Media Lab - Joi Ito's Web
"In the press release announcing my appointment, Nicholas Negroponte, Media Lab co-founder and chairman emeritus says, "In the past 25 years, the Lab helped to create a digital revolution -- a revolution that is now over. We are a digital culture. Today, the 'media' in Media Lab include the widest range of innovations, from brain sciences to the arts. Their impact will be global, social, economic and political -- Joi's world."

I really felt at home for the first time in many ways. It felt like a place where I could focus - focus on everything - but still have a tremendous ability to work with the team as well as my network and broader extended network to execute and impact the world in a substantial and positive way."
mit  education  joiito  2011  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  medialab  nicholasnegroponte  digitalrevolution  digitalculture  change  innovation  brain  science  art  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  networks  teamwork  mitmedialab  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
I fucking hate organization charts : peterme.com
"organization charts…are emblematic of how broken standard business practice is. Command-&-control hierarchies are appropriate for Industrial Age mindset that favors control in order to achieve consistency, efficiency, & quantifiability…Departmental silos are no longer practical…

…related to org charts, are job titles…associated w/ set of qualifications & responsibilities, w/ idea that anyone who has that job title can do same activities…interchangeable…any fan knows that [basketball players] w/ same title are far from identical & secret to success is chemistry that emerges from combination of right set of individuals…

If we’re going to get away from bureaucratic thinking that defined Industrial Age, we need to set aside outmoded tools that were created for wholly different needs than what we have now…need to stop assuming that way we were taught is way it always was (& always should be) done, & we need to come up w/ new models & approaches to address our current reality."
petermerholz  bureaucracy  hierarchy  interchangability  quanitifcation  organizations  management  administration  leadership  jobtitles  jobs  work  teams  collaboration  creativity  departmentalsilos  messiness  control  commandandcontrol  unschooling  deschooling  2011  industrialage  business  teamwork  howwework  lcproject  tcsnmy  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Steve Nash, Basketball's Selfless Socialist? : NPR
"Phoenix Suns basketball star Steve Nash says he's read Karl Marx's The Manifesto of the Communist Party. On the court, Nash is famous for passing the ball to teammates, giving up scoring opportunities himself so others can score. In a league full of flashy, high-scoring players, could Nash be an example of a Marxist player?"
communism  marxism  stevenash  nba  basketball  teamwork  teamplayers  2006  via:cburell  sharing  selflessness  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Cirque du Soleil: A Very Different Vision of Teamwork | Fast Company
"Gathered from around the world, these special performers are pushed to their limits, learning their craft for up to four months before a performance. Although auditions are demanding, people are not hired for who they are, but for what they may become. Transformation is the key. Heward states, "Creative transformation is the most important doorway for us. We're trying to find the ‘pearl,' the hidden talent in that individual. What is the unique thing that person brings?"

At Cirque, it's all about spontaneity, creativity, imagination and risk taking--not always qualities associated with Olympic athletes. Many gymnasts, athletes, and dancers come from competitive environments where individual excellence, instead of team work, is reinforced. Boris Verkhovsky, Cirque head coach and trainer notes, "A lot of athletes come from an environment where they are literally told when to inhale and when to exhale.""
creativity  teamwork  risktaking  collaboration  hiring  spontaneity  imagination  cirquedusoleil  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Rands In Repose: A Toxic Paradox
"Culture is the foundational broad strokes of beliefs, values, & goals in a group of people, & a healthy culture is inclusive. It seeks out new members who evolve the culture into something new and better. It’s constantly growing in interesting ways because of the people it’s built on.

A rejection by the culture, while not pleasant for anyone involved, is not a rejection based on individual taste, it’s not because someone doesn’t like someone else. It’s a rejection because of a lack of shared core beliefs. Vastly different personalities get along famously when they share a common goal.

…I’m talking about trying to shove a toxic square peg in a cultural round hole. It doesn’t work…It’s hard to remember this when a toxic person is yelling at you, but they’re not actually yelling at you. They’re yelling at the culture. They’re pissed because their belief structure isn’t a fit with just about everyone else’s & they know it…And, here’s the worst part, they might be right."
rands  psychology  management  communication  culture  business  collaboration  leadership  employment  personality  teamwork  cv  tcsnmy  sharedvalues  values  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
News Desk: The Velluvial Matrix : The New Yorker
"When you are sick, this is what you want from medicine. When you are a taxpayer, this is what you want from medicine. And when you are a doctor or a medical scientist this is the work you want to do. It is work with a different set of values from the ones that medicine traditionally has had: values of teamwork instead of individual autonomy, ambition for the right process rather than the right technology, and, perhaps above all, humility—for we need the humility to recognize that, under conditions of complexity, no technology will be infallible. No individual will be, either. There is always a velluvial matrix to know about."
atulgawande  collaboration  complexity  medicine  healthcare  education  commencement  systems  newyorker  learning  knowledge  tcsnmy  humility  infallibility  autonomy  interdependence  teamwork  toshare  topost  history  health  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The ISTE opening keynote – what I wish had been said « Generation YES Blog
"* These global problems must be solved by including people who are traditionally not included in solutions...cannot be solved by “usual suspects” – governments, military, big corporations, etc...
* Technology is a solution to bringing these voices out...
* Youth must be at the table...They are the ones who will live there...who will solve problems.

...the OLPC movement is based on these ideas...

Educators are like sherpas for the future. By guiding students to develop a global perspective, problem-solving skills & voice, they are creating capacity for these students to gradually solve larger & more global problems. Students may not start by tackling global warming, but by helping to clean up local marsh...skills of collaboration, teamwork, creative problem solving are the same...

Rischard missed the point by saying that we should develop curriculum for K-12 that does this...students learn these things by DOING them..."
silviamartinez  olpc  global  tcsnmy  classideas  teaching  learning  problemsolving  collaboration  criticalthinking  globalwarming  iste  2010  jean-francoisrischard  globalvoices  teamwork  creativity  meaning  scale  doing  learningbydoing  schools  curriculum  curriculumisdead  practice  future  voice 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Palomar5 Parallel process collaboration
"We had a phrase at Palomar 5 marked by a grave – “concensus killed my idea”, parallel process collaboration arose from this thinking on how to proceed without concensus. The answer is just to proceed, with people addressing the issues in the manner they think is most
consensus  palomar5  collaboration  tcsnmy  teams  teamwork  autonomy  sharedvalues  parallelprocess  learning  goals  classideas  direction  administration  management 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Football: a dear friend to capitalism | Terry Eagleton | Comment is free | The Guardian
"If every rightwing thinktank came up w/ a scheme to distract populace from political injustice & compensate them for lives of hard labour, the solution in each case would be same: football. No finer way of resolving the problems of capitalism has been dreamed up, bar socialism. & in tussle between them, football is several light years ahead.
football  soccer  socialism  society  via:javierarbona  terryeagleton  worldcup  josémourinho  rimbaud  bertholdbrecht  symbolism  sports  spectacle  sociology  spectators  teamwork  individualism  balance  distraction  genius  artistry  jazz  cooperation  competition  rivalry  identity  class  tradition  religion  history  conflict  politics  change  populism  conformism  policy  power  falseconciousness  marxism  capitalism  philosophy  2010  futbol 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Corner Office - Mark Pincus - Every Worker Should Be C.E.O. of Something - Interview - NYTimes.com
"So even today when I play in Sunday-morning soccer games, I can literally spot people who’d probably be good managers & good people to hire...One is reliability, sense that they’re not going to let team down...going to hold up their end of bargain. & in soccer, especially if you play 7v7, it’s more about whether you have 7 guys...who can pull their own weight rather than whether you have stars...I’d rather be on team that has no bad people than team w/ stars...certain people who you just know are not going to make a mistake, even if other guy’s faster or whatever. They’re just reliable.
business  empowerment  markpincus  football  entrepreneurship  management  leadership  cv  administration  soccer  sports  cooperation  collaboration  teamwork  tcsnmy  futbol 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team | Video on TED.com
"Tom Wujec presents some surprisingly deep research into the "marshmallow problem" -- a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?"

[via: http://scudmissile.tumblr.com/post/554987122]
building  business  challenge  collaboration  creativity  design  prototyping  ted  teamwork  teams  leadership  management  motivation  inspiration  innovation  process  tcsnmy  learning  problemsolving  iteration  failure  administration  tomwujec  psychology  extrinsicmotivation  intrinsicmotivation  success  incentives 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Rules for Brainstorming - d.school news
"Our bootcamp class got an introduction to the d.school's rules for productive team brainstorms today. These are a time-tested, road-worn recipe for successfully generating ideas with your team. 1. Defer Judgment. Don't block someone else's idea if you don't like it... 2. Go for volume. Getting to 100 ideas is better than 10... 3. One conversation at a time. When different conversations are going on within a team, no one can focus.
d.school  design  brainstorming  creativity  innovation  teamwork  productivity  management  ideas  tips  projects  leadership  administration  tcsnmy 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Why Group Norms Kill Creativity | PsyBlog
"So of course schools kill creativity, of course politicians are fighting over the middle ground, of course most TV programmes are the same and of course all our high streets are identical. People are social animals who work in groups and, especially with the advance of globalisation, the number of groups that govern or control our world has shrunk. These groups naturally kill creativity, or at least redefine it as conformity.
groupthink  psychology  behavior  groups  teams  teamwork  productivity  sociology  creativity  innovation  collaboration  conformity  cv  individual  groupnorms 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Why group norms kill creativity - elearnspace [quote from: http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/06/why-group-norms-kill-creativity.php]
"Unfortunately groups only rarely foment great ideas because people in them are powerfully shaped by group norms: the unwritten rules which describe how individuals in a group ‘are’ and how they ‘ought’ to behave. Norms influence what people believe is right and wrong just as surely as real laws, but with none of the permanence or transparency of written regulations…the unwritten rules of the group, therefore, determined what its members considered creative. In effect groups had redefined creativity as conformity."
creativity  collaboration  pedagogy  psychology  management  innovation  conformity  groupthink  trends  genius  groups  diversity  teamwork  teams 
august 2009 by robertogreco
NPR: Compensation: Trying To Reward Teamwork
"company went through a lot of soul-searching about compensation...recommend Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards for our thoughts on compensation...kept running into problems with traditional model of pay tied to performance reviews for all sorts of reasons...that model...only discourages teamwork....pool of money for raises is fixed so the only way to get more money than your coworkers is to make sure they perform worse than you...some people aren't motivated by money & so micromanaging their jobs by dangling financial carrots...only rewards those who are good at playing the system. We opted for a pretty straightforward chart...four pay grades & your pay is based on years of experience. New hires don't necessarily start at zero...lowest pay grade is actually above-market because we even though market would allow us to pay our low-level administrative staff less than we do, we don't feel that's right...most employee's salaries are public information w/in company, because of the chart."
motivation  compensation  alfiekohn  competition  cooperation  collaboration  administration  employment  leadership  management  teamwork  rewards  salaries 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The No-Stats All-Star - NYTimes.com
"For most of its history basketball has measured not so much what is important as what is easy to measure — points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots — and these measurements have warped perceptions of the game. ... There is a tension, peculiar to basketball, between the interests of the team and the interests of the individual. The game continually tempts the people who play it to do things that are not in the interest of the group. ... Battier ... the most abnormally unselfish basketball player ... who seems one step ahead of the analysts, helping the team in all sorts of subtle, hard-to-measure ways that appear to violate his own personal interests."
nba  basketball  sports  statistics  teamwork  michaellewis  shanebattier 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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