June 14, 2007 Human history is largely the story of people working together in groups to explore, achieve and conquer—and in our modern world the role of teams is only growing, spurred by globalization and communications technology. Given the centrality of work teams, it is remarkable how much our society's perspective is focused on the individual. We school our children, hire, train and reward employees as individuals, yet throw individuals into a team with little thought to the team’s composition, training, development and leadership. Scientific American Mind’s June 2007 issue has an excellent article entitled The Science of Team Success about the growing body of research showing that groups can systematically enhance their performance. It turns out that what team members think, feel and do provide strong predictors of team success—and these factors also suggest ways to design, train and lead teams to help them work even better. If you work with other people, you should read this.
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