Weekend Leadership Reading: 5/22/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about teams.

From Adi Gaskell: The Factors That Are Key To The Success Of Virtual Teams

“Virtual teams are increasingly commonplace, with companies pulling in employees from around the world to work on projects. Doing so effectively however is often far from straightforward, but new research from Curtin University provides some tips on how to make your virtual teams thrive.”

From Jack McGuinness: Great Leadership Teams Move Beyond Assumptions

“Great leadership teams are comprised of talented individuals who come to their teams with a basket of technical skills, a depth of life and work experiences, and a diverse set of motivations and styles. These executives manage success and approach stress and conflict with great variety. Some move from one win to the next with little celebration or acknowledgement. Many enjoy a good fight and are able to move on with no hurt feelings. Others struggle with the pressures of running a business and managing lots of people and deal with stress by withdrawing or lashing out. Diversity can be magical but given the natural variety of skills and styles it is not surprising that leadership teams often face relational challenges that chip away at trust and diminish the team’s ability to engage in productive dialogue.”

From Wharton: Mindfulness Can Help Unlock Your Company’s Collective Intelligence

“Companies increasingly are setting up agile, cross-functional teams to tackle complex problems that need to be solved through teamwork and collective intelligence. Are there ways that firms can nurture these abilities among employees? According to research by Boston Consulting Group and Awaris, a ten-week mindfulness program can lead to a measurable increase in collective intelligence. This was the conclusion of a study involving 31 teams and 196 members. Christian Greiser, Jan-Philipp Martini, Liane Stephan and Chris Tamdjidi, the co-authors of this opinion piece, led the research study.”

From Christoph Riedl and Anita Williams Woolley: “Bursty” Communication Can Help Remote Teams Thrive

“This backlash against remote work may be wrongheaded. In recent research published in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries (original article and open access pre-print), we show that remote teams who communicate in bursts—exchanging messages quickly during periods of high activity—perform much better than remote teams whose conversations involve long lag time between responses and are spread across multiple topic threads. In other words, it might not be distance per se that limits remote teams.”

From the London Business School: The science behind successful teams

“Based on 30 years of research into team dynamics and the well-known Big 5 personality traits, Professor Peterson has developed a proprietary Tipping Point (Team Interaction Profile) wheel of personality fortune.”

From Dylan Walsh: How to Build Better Teams

“Hiring .the best’ isn’t always the brightest move.”

From Stephan Meier: Motivating a Team Takes More Than Money

“The increasing role of nonmonetary incentives in motivating employees is well-documented in many research findings, including my own. Today’s employees don’t just want to work for a paycheck. They are also looking for jobs that add meaning and purpose to their lives. They want to be fulfilled, and they want to feel they are making an impact.”

From Diane Coutu: Why Teams Don’t Work

“Over the past couple of decades, a cult has grown up around teams. Even in a society as fiercely independent as America, teams are considered almost sacrosanct. The belief that working in teams makes us more creative and productive is so widespread that when faced with a challenging new task, leaders are quick to assume that teams are the best way to get the job done. Not so fast, says J. Richard Hackman, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University and a leading expert on teams. Hackman has spent a career exploring—and questioning—the wisdom of teams. To learn from his insights, HBR senior editor Diane Coutu interviewed Hackman in his Harvard office.”

Book Suggestions

Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

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