Background and Context

Back in the Autumn of 2020, WhatsApp was experiencing accelerated growth during the pandemic. One of the UK teams was less than 6 months old and was looking for opportunities to improve the quality of their communication, collaboration, conflict, and decision-making. 

I facilitated a 1.5-hour workshop with 7 participants on the question: what makes a good team? 

 

 

Marvin

Andy was our example giver in this dialogue and he used an example that many will relate to - an impending, joint paper submission.

The group discovered 7 'factors' that were present in Andy's example of teamwork.

These factors were:

- Social Fabric

- Shared understanding of a common goal

- Clear roles and responsibilities

- Mutual leadership

- Intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivation

- Autonomy Ownership

- Investment

There were other factors of teamwork mentioned like trust, psychological safety, and resilience that we neither had time to discuss nor capture.

A continued inquiry may look at refining and prioritising these factors, unpacking complex areas like what social fabric and motivation mean, and looking at the example from a different perspective (the group opted to focus on the performance phase rather than the formation phase, which was drawn from a recognition that Andy's example was about a team in latter stages of its development).

Deeper still, finding the common core, essence, or pivot point of these factors, which may underpin what makes teamwork feel so 'right' when they are present could further illuminate the link between teamwork and individual human flourishing!

Igor

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