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Being an effective team, what it takes to get there?

January 27, 2015

On Point, hosted by Tom Ashbrook, is an interesting program that explores issues through in-depth interviews with thought leaders.  I listened to today’s broadcast, Building a Smarter Team (link to the podcast), in which Tom Ashbrook interviewed: (1) Anita Woolley, professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business; (2) Thomas Malone, professor management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Author of “The Future of Work.” (@twmalone); and (3) Morris Shechtman, founder of Fifth Wave Leadership.  I thought the interview gave many interesting insights into what it takes to build an effective team.  Anita and Tom talked about their research into the variables that impact the collective intelligence on a team and what makes a team capable of collaborating effectively to address the challenges they face.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Anita and Tom, I was not inspired by Morris Shechtman’s contributions to the interview.  He did not strike me as someone who listened very well or thoughtfully responded to Tom Ashbrook’s questions.  He wasn’t there to educate his audience, while Anita and Tom (Malone) did a very good job of sharing their insights into how good teams work together and why.

They also left me with many questions to reflect on as a member of many different leadership teams trying to address challenges issues in schools.  How do we determine whether our team has a high degree of collective intelligence that would set the team up to work effectively?  How might we develop our potential to be more highly effective in our work?  What information would we gather and how would we use the information to increase our effectiveness?

Tom Ashbrook gives a few critical resources on the site devoted to this podcast.  One of the resources is a recent article that appeared in the New York Times, Why Some Teams are Smarter Than Others, which was written by Anita and Tom (Malone).

Listen to the 45 minutes podcast and see what you think.  Post some thoughts!

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