INNOVATION & Creativity Conquers Uncertainty. Here’s How To Hire For It

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: years ago when I began my PhD work I began by finding and analyzing churches that are creatively sharing the Good News. One of the most important factors is hiring creative people. But hiring committees often err on the side of the safe bet. Here is an excerpt from a new research-based book that explains how do you spot someone that’s creative and get them on your team.

by Chaka Booker, Forbes Magazine, 6/1/20.

…According to an annual global study conducted by IBM, 80% of CEOs anticipate this increase in complexity, but only 49% believe their organizations are prepared to deal with it. The same research shows that creative thinking has become a prerequisite for success. Clearly, organizations need talent that see things differently than others. They need creative thinkers who can help move organizations in unanticipated and ultimately successful directions.

Interviewing for creativity

Determining if someone is creative isn’t easy. Even when asked to describe their own creativity, people find it difficult to do so. Steve Jobs echoed this sentiment during an interview for Wired magazine in 1996, “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Most interview questions don’t acknowledge this reality and instead ask candidates to give examples of creative solutions they’ve generated in their work experience. These types of questions focus primarily on ideas and results, not on the process. Assessing ideas and results, however, requires understanding the candidate’s context. A candidate may describe something that was creative within their context, but to you it may seem lackluster. Or, vice versa, it may seem creative but was par for the course.

This is a problem you cannot solve. Regardless of your understanding of the candidate’s context, your opening question still needs to be a traditional one. Start by asking any of the following standard creativity questions: 

  • Have you had a project which required you to think “outside the box”? If so, what ideas did you generate and what was the result?
  • Have you come up with an innovative idea or solution recently at work If so, what resulted from the idea?
  • Have you faced a problem at work that you solved in a unique way? If so, what was the outcome?

Asking one or two of these questions is still valuable because it sets the foundation for addressing the challenge that Steve Jobs identified. Next you need to ask questions that specifically help you understand the candidate’s mental process.

The link between artistic and professional creativity

Creativity is hard to assess because it is a mind state that people enter to generate results. It is often more recognizable when examined via the artistic creativity exhibited by musicians, poets, dancers, or other artists. For this reason, a considerable amount of research on creative mental processes has been done with artists. Fortunately, artistic creativity and the creativity needed in the working world are related. Studies have shown that whether a person is a chief operating officer or a sculptor, a similar mental shift occurs when they think creatively. Dr. Joel Lopata, a Professor of Psychology and Creativity at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, found that, “When artists—or people in general—work across domains…they are in what can be called a distinct creative mental space, which is distinct and different from a rational, logical, and analytical state.”

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/chakabooker/2020/06/01/creativity-conquers-uncertainty-heres-how-to-hire-for-it/#c928e4c7607d

TEAMWORK & 3 Reasons Why You May Want People Who Are Chronically Late On Your Team, According to Research

by Rebecca Hinds, Inc. Magazine, 3/1/19.

…Despite your valiant attempts to confront perpetually late co-workers and cure chronic lateness, you’ve probably been less than successful. It’s not all your fault. There are psychological reasons to explain why people are perpetually tardy…

1. Optimism

According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, individuals who are perpetually late tend to be more optimistic. As optimists, latecomers are likely to look at the bright side of things….

Optimism is a highly desirable trait in the workplace… Research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman, as outlined in his book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life”, found that sales professionals who are optimistic outperform others by 37 percent. 

2. Creativity 

… According to research, creative individuals aren’t adept at filtering out distraction. Their mind moves freely from one idea to another without constraint. While this proclivity spurs creativity, it also causes their minds to wander from calendar invitations and show up late to commitments. 

3. Low levels of neuroticism

Some highly punctual people express anxiety about being late. Being late feels unsafe and results in stress… a 2006 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, habitually punctual people exhibit higher levels of neuroticism.

Neuroticism can be toxic to the workplace. Neurotic people are more likely to be moody and experience depression…

Read more at …https://www.inc.com/rebecca-hinds/3-reasons-why-you-may-want-people-who-are-chronically-late-on-your-team-according-to-research.html

TEAMWORK & The biggest lesson Steve Jobs said he learned at Apple: “Coach, don’t solve” … that’s the sign of a “strategic leader.”

by Justin Bariso, INC Magazine, 4/17/18.

Before answering, Jobs stops to think it through. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he engages in deep thought.

After what seems like an eternity (and in reality, lasted just over 20 seconds), Jobs answers the question:

“I now take a longer-term view on people. In other words, when I see something not being done right, my first reaction isn’t to go fix it. It’s to say, we’re building a team here. And we’re going to do great stuff for the next decade, not just the next year, and so what do I need to do to help so the person that’s screwing up learns–versus how do I fix the problem.”

There are some major lessons here for anyone tasked with leading a team.

Coach, Don’t Solve

When someone on your team struggles with a problem or makes a mistake, it can be difficult not to jump in and solve it for them. But as Jobs points out, that’s not going to help the person–or the company–in the long run.

Much better is to use those mistakes as teaching opportunities.

For example, you could share instances in which you’ve committed similar missteps, and what you learned from the incident–while recognizing that the individual may still choose to address the problem differently. But sharing these lessons may help spark new ways of thinking. It allows the person to benefit from your experience. Additionally, you become more approachable to your team; they’ll begin to see you as a coach or mentor, instead of just a boss or manager.

Additionally, you can employ a little emotional intelligence, using employee mistakes to build loyalty and trust.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/an-mit-student-asked-steve-jobs-to-share-his-biggest-lesson-learned-at-apple.html

TEAMWORK & “Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” #WarrenBuffett

by Michael Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 3/24/18.

… Your success is only as good as the people whom you surround yourself with.
Pick your network wisely, it could make or break you. Billionaire Warren Buffett once told a 14-year-old kid at a Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting one of the keys to his success: “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”

He taught a life lesson for all of us about absorbing the very qualities and traits of successful people further down the path than us — people with skills and traits that will elevate and make us better as leaders, workers, and human beings.

From “6 Smart Habits That Will Lead to a Fulfilling Life” read more at … https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/6-inspiring-lessons-about-success-most-people-will-learn-too-late-in-life.html

TEAMWORK & Team Leaders Should Play Favorites (but Only in Moderation)

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’ve been an out-group member of a leadership team as well as an in-group member, and I can confirm what we all know: the latter is preferable. But why does this happen? It has to do with experiences that are embedded in our brains. The experiences foster “LMX” for “leader-member exchange” which can be stronger with certain people than others. But it will be helpful at times and hurtful at other times. Read this Harvard Business Review article to beginning learning the difference.

by Bradley Kirkman, Hui Wang, Ning Li and Yang Sui, Harvard Business Review, 4/10/17.

…But whether leaders think it or not, one of the most consistent findings in our (and others’) research is that almost all leaders do treat members differently — mostly without knowing they’re doing it. This works a lot like subconscious biases that, when revealed to people, almost always result in feelings of surprise and embarrassment. Leaders can’t help having implicit ideas and preferences for what they want their team members to do and to be like. And those preconceived notions lead to what researchers have called “differentiation” in the level of relationship quality leaders have with members, with relationship quality often referred to as “leader-member exchange,” or LMX for short.

When a leader and a follower share a high level of LMX, that follower typically exhibits the types of positive outcomes all leaders want to see, such as high performance, job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behavior, or going above and beyond one’s typical job responsibilities. Those with high LMX are also more committed to their companies, more satisfied with their leaders, and less likely to quit their jobs. So if high LMX generates all of these positive outcomes, why don’t leaders build high LMX levels with all of their followers? We have already mentioned the effects of implicit leader preferences — a lot of differential treatment occurs naturally and without a great deal of conscious thought. Beyond the subconscious explanation, however, is one that is more practical: leaders today simply don’t have the time necessary to build high-quality relationships with everyone in their team. This is even more complicated in lean organizations, in which many leaders have responsibility for large teams (and often several teams at once).

Fortunately, research suggests that playing favorites can be healthy for motivating high performance in teams and individual members alike. In fact, the effects of LMX differentiation — or the extent to which leaders form relationships of different quality with members in the same team — can be positive for both team and individual outcomes, depending on whether certain conditions are present. For example, our colleagues Berrin Erdogan and Talya Bauer at Portland State University found that LMX differentiation has no effects or positive effects on individual team members as long as those team members perceive that their leaders have created a team climate characterized by fairness. That is, there are no effects or positive effects when leaders provide resources to team members using fair and unbiased decision-making procedures. Specifically, Erdogan and Bauer found that more LMX differentiation was associated with increased helping behaviors among team members when members believed they were working in a fair team climate. Similarly, Bob Liden of the University of Illinois at Chicago and his colleagues found that LMX differentiation was associated with higher team performance but only when there was a high level of coordination, communication, and integration within the teams (known as team interdependence).

Read more at … https://www.hbrascend.in/topics/team-leaders-should-play-favorites-but-only-in-moderation/

COMMUNICATION & 5 Ways to Motivate a Team

The 5 Communication Habits All Leaders Need to Motivate a Team” by Marcel Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 1/18/17.

A global leadership study revealed that 85 percent of companies reported an urgent need to develop employees with leadership potential.

For this conversation, I’m going to simplify the practice of great leadership communication down to 5 principles.

1. Communicate in “we” rather than “I” or “you” language.

As a leader, you may not be consciously aware of the role language plays. It can build up or tear down your tribe. There are things you may choose to say that will either empower or disempower.

There are certain “I” or “you” statements you want to avoid, as it may come across as critical or bossy, as if employees are there to serve you and your needs, instead of the reverse. (If servant leadership is a new business concept for you, start here)…

2. Communicate with radical honesty…

Their HR team put together a Crucial Conversations®training that is rooted on radical honesty to step up and handle high-stakes issues to improve company-wide results.

Results were dramatic. Teams reported better synergy and team unity, and found new ways to help each other. Their sales team used the learned skills to drastically improve interactions with customers.

3. Communicate with the aim of developing trust first…

In his phenomenal book The Speed Of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey says that a team with high trust will produce results faster and at lower cost. But should you first earn the trust of your people? Or does trust develop from having a belief in your people first — their strengths, abilities, and commitment?

In other words, which of these two statements would you agree with?

A. Trust is something that people must earn.

B. Trust is something that should be given as a gift.

If you chose A, you’re in the majority. Conventional thinking says that people have to earn trust first, and if they violate that trust, it becomes difficult to earn it back, right? But if you selected B, pat yourself on the back. It has been found that, in healthy organizations, leaders are willing to give trust to their followers first, and they give it as a gift even before it’s earned.

4. Communicate through regular praise and recognition.

Did you know that receiving recognition is the most important performance motivator? It’s also a powerful way to get employees motivated

The companies in one large Gallup study that displayed the highest engagement levels use recognition and praise as powerful motivators to get employee commitment and loyalty.

Praise should be given once per week.

5. Communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Companies with leaders who “sweep things under the rug” will eventually be exposed as not trustworthy. The flip side is transparent and truth-telling leaderswho will explain current realities and bring everyone into the conversation for unity. Such leaders will win hearts and minds of loyal employees.

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/first-90-days-communication-habits-all-leaders-need-to-motivate-a-team.html

LEADERSHIP EVALUATION & Are You A Good Boss? Test Yourself With These 5 Questions

by Lisa Quast, Forbes Magazine, 1/2/17.

… A Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults revealed that 50 percent had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their life at some point in their career.

Poor people management skills also negatively affect employee happiness and productivity, with managers accounting for up to 70% of variance in employee engagement scores.

Want to find out how good you are as a people manager? See how many of these five questions you can answer with “yes.”

Have you clearly defined and communicated the vision and strategy for your group, department or organization?

Have you worked with each employee to help him or her understand the role they play in contributing to the success of the organization?
According to a Robert Half Management Resources survey, 53 percent of workers are unable to make the connection between their day-to-day duties and how they impact the company’s financials.

Do you meet regularly with each employee for progress discussions?

… This doesn’t mean meeting once a year with employees to provide performance feedback – it means holding regularly scheduled two-way communication sessions, providing ongoing feedback year-round, giving credit where it is due, and being unafraid to have difficult conversations.

Do you empower your employees to succeed by delegating challenging and meaningful work?

People want to succeed and they want to continue learning. If you don’t provide opportunities for growth and help employees build on their strengths, then you won’t be viewed as a good people leader.

Do you recognize great work?

This doesn’t mean throwing out a “nice job” comment every now and then. Backhanded compliments – an insult disguised as a compliment – also don’t count. Recognizing great work means providing recognition and rewards that reinforce positive behavior, increases employees’ sense of progress and keep them motivated.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2017/01/02/are-you-a-good-boss-test-yourself-with-these-5-questions/#5571004c3de9

TEAMWORK & Here Are The Optimum # of Members You Should Have on Your Team, According to Science

by Marissa Levin, Inc. Magazine, 8/30/16.

The right number.

The ideal number of team members is two.

“Pairs are the simplest and most stable bond in chemistry and in life. Humans form pairs in love and marriage and as friends. Adding a third person to a pair often complicates matters, and some trios can be explosive,” says Karlgaard. There are four main categories of team pairings:

  • Occasion pairs come together for a specific project. They band and disband quickly. They don’t always like each other but they need each other.
  • Similarity pairs are often ideally paired and work together in complete harmony. They can become too interdependent on each other.
  • Difference pairs consist of partners that compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are opposites attracting.
  • Inequality pairs include leader/follower or mentor/protege pairings. There is always an imbalance among the partners.

For medium-sized teams, five-nine members is the optimal number for building closeness. For larger groups, 11-18 team members is the maximum number of people someone can trust.

For much larger teams, 150 and 1,500 are magic numbers.

…researchers and entrepreneurs Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone distill the process of creating the highest performing teams in their best-selling book, Team Genius: The New Science of High Performing Teams

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/the-5-most-important-characteristics-of-great-teams-according-to-science.html

keywords: LEAD 600 teams teamwork

STRESS & Good Leaders Model Well-being Practices #TakeTimeOff

“Help Your Team Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout” by Rich Fernandez, Harvard Business Review, 1/21/16.

… Model and encourage well-being practices.

Worker stress levels are rising, with over half of the global workforce (53%) reporting that they are closer to burnout than they were just five years ago, according to a Regus Group survey of over 22,000 business people across 100 countries. And while stress can be contagious, the converse is also true: when any member of a team experiences well-being, the effect seems to spread across the entire team. According to a recent Gallup research report that surveyed 105 teams over six three-month periods, individual team members who reported experiencing well-being were 20% more likely to have other team members who also reported thriving six months later. Takeaway: understand and prioritize activities that promote well-being for yourself and your team. They could include such things as offering personal development tools, like mindfulness and resilience training; explicitly encouraging people to take time for exercise or other renewal activities, such as walking meetings; or building buffer time into deliverables calendars so that people can work flexibly and at a manageable pace.

Allow time to disconnect outside of work.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, workers around the world spend 34 to 48 hours at work each week on average, and many engage in work or related activities after business hours. McKinsey Quarterlysuggests that “always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.” And one of the most significant findings in employee pulse surveys that I’ve seen in companies large and small is that employees have an exceptionally hard time disconnecting from work…

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2016/01/help-your-team-manage-stress-anxiety-and-burnout

STO LEADERSHIP & My Answers to Questions About 3-STRand Leaders: Strategic, Tactical & Relational

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/25/15.

I have written extensively on the importance of team building with complimentary leaders, including creating a questionnaire to help you find your leadership mix.  Called STO Leadership (Strategic, Tactical and Relational [previously I designated operational] Leaders) a student asked important deeper questions about it. Below are my answers which help expand (with his good questions) the importance of understanding Strategic-Tactical-Relational leadership.

Here are the questions from the student, with my answers embedded in them.

Student:  Do tactical leaders have to have equal or exceeding competency as the relational leaders they are leading in the given subject?  (I would lean toward, ‘no’)

Whitesel:  Tactical leaders are good at analysis, usually more than content. Thus, they enjoy balancing either bank statements or cultural/evangelical mandates.  Therefore, analysis trumps content, so no they do not have to have exceeding (or even equal competency) in a given subject with the leaders they are leading.

Student: I have a suspicion that strategic leaders are also not the best at developing new leaders.  Just last night someone on my board said, “we need to disciple these people, how are we going to do it?”  I just drew a blank.  She was right, but I didn’t know what to say.  Not because I didn’t want to do it – I just can’t figure the process.

Whitesel: Right, the process often is beyond the strategic leader’s skills. That is why strategic leaders need tactical leaders as their closest partners.

Student: I have attempted to employ some of these things (like holding volunteers accountable) and it blew up in a huge way.  The people may not have thought me ‘wrong’ but they did think me ‘mean.’  In a family church structure – peace is more important than production.

Whitesel: Strategic leaders are not good at holding people accountable (neither are tactical leaders).  For example, a strategic leader on a board may say, “Joe and Mary aren’t around much anymore and they seem dissatisfied.  I think we should ask them to resign from the administrative board if they are not going to support our mission.” The tactical leader on the board replies, “They haven’t given money in a month, and I’ve noticed they’ve been absence four out of the past five Sundays.”  As a result the board votes to ask for Joe and Mary’s resignation.  What is happening is that a relational leader is missing, to be the go-between between the S and T leaders and the volunteers.

Student: This read helps me put people like Nouwen into perspective.  I have a hunch, and I may be completely wrong, that he is a strategic leader.  When I read his writings it seems he has a difficult time prescribing process and practicality.  Wonderful matters and paints a beautiful picture of the Christian in his book “In the Name of Jesus” – but what really does he want people to do?

Whitesel: Exactly, at a conference I was listening to a very strategic thinker-author one day and another one the next.  Their speeches are largely one “catch phrase” after another.  I don’t think many pastors were getting ideas that would help back home.

Student: To verify what Whitesel shared about a strong focus on strategic leadership to the neglect of tactical, I checked out the DVD’s to the 2007 leadership summit put on by Hybels and gang.  The messages from 2007 include the following:  “Vision to Die For,” “Strategy and Leadership,” “Living for the Greater Good,” “Building Humanity,” and “Whatever You Do, Inspire Me.”  These are all strategy/vision appealing messages.  I think those that are more tactical oriented are just not popular by attendees, and they are presented by speakers who are brought back perennially.  I know I have left feeling more inspired than equipped.

Whitesel:  You summarized it well, “more inspired than equipped.”  😉

STO 3-STRand STRand #ThinkTankOH

TEAMWORK & When to Give Feedback in a Group and When to Do It One-on-One

… Give feedback in a team setting when:

  • One or more team members are experiencing negative consequences caused by other team members.
  • Team members are the source of the feedback.
  • The issue involves most of the team.

… Give feedback one-on-one when:

  • Other team members are not being affected by the behavior and have no information to provide.
  • You want to help the team member prepare for receiving team feedback or coach the team member after receiving feedback from other team members.

… Underlying this approach is the principle that team members are accountable for giving feedback directly to those with whom they are interdependent. Apart from team members doing their own work, this is the most basic form of team accountability. Leaders are continually exhorting their employees to work as a team and to be accountable to the team. But, if you always provide the feedback, you take away the opportunity for your direct reports to develop this essential skill, and you undermine the accountability required to function as a team.

If you’re thinking that it makes sense to give feedback on team issues in a team setting, but you’re concerned that your team doesn’t have the skills to do this, you’re not alone. Many leaders share this concern. You can begin changing this by talking with your team about how you expect team members to be accountable to each other — not just to you or the larger organization. If you share your expectations for your direct reports, agree on how you’ll work together, and give your team the skills to meet the agreed-upon expectation, you’ll find that problems get addressed sooner, fewer issues land on your own desk, and your team becomes a more productive, cohesive unit.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/08/when-to-give-feedback-in-a-group-and-when-to-do-it-one-on-one

LEADERSHIP & 6 Things Real Leaders Don’t Do (Like Boss People Around) #ForbesMagazine

by Lynn Ryan, Forbes Magazine, 10/8/15.

People get hired or promoted into leadership roles every day. Sadly, when they get the job they may get little or no training on how to lead a team…

No one tells them “The trick to leadership is to have people want to do a good job — not to please you, but for themselves!” The greatest power source on earth is a team of people who are energized around a common goal…

Real Leaders Don’t Boss People Around

What kinds of obstacles could slow people down and frustrate them? Bureaucratic processes are a big problem in many if not most organizations.

A good manager is willing to take on stupid processes and get rid of them, or soften them or figure out a way to work around them so his or her team can keep winning…

Real Leaders Don’t Bark Out Orders

Real leaders don’t bark out orders. They may have a goal in mind, and when they do they’ll say “Jane, you’re the expert. If we can get that pricing model completed this month we’ll be able to launch it at the sales meeting next month.

“Does that sound like something we can do? What do you need from me to make it easy for you to reach that goal?”…

Real Leaders Don’t Second-Guess Their Team Members

…Often the reason that people pad the dates on their schedules is that they’ve learned through harsh experience that when they honestly say “I can have that done by Friday” a poor manager will say “Then get it to me by Wednesday.”

If you don’t trust your teammates, that means you don’t trust yourself to hire trustworthy people. That’s your problem, not theirs!

Real Leaders Don’t Blame Their Employees When Something Goes Wrong

… It is easy and tempting to diagnose an employee with all sorts of problems and to characterize him or her as lazy or careless, but you hired Jack. You trained him. Until you take responsibility for Jack’s difficulties, you’ll stay frustrated and you won’t learn a thing.

Real Leaders Don’t Bring the Hammer Down Right Away

Real leaders don’t turn to disciplinary measures at the first sign of trouble. They ask questions, thoughtfully and compassionately, instead. They look for gaps in an employee’s understanding of his or her job….

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/08/08/six-things-real-leaders-dont-do-like-boss-people-around/

TEAMWORK & How Great Leaders Build Loyalty

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/how-great-leaders-build-loyalty.html

CONFLICT & How to Break Through Deadlock on Your Team

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “Each member of your team has Assumptions, Interests and Relevant information (AIR) which you must understand before getting them to ‘jointly find a solution.’ Assumptions are preconceived notions. Interests are what they want to personally get out of the solution. And relevant information is their knowledge that they don’t want you to ignore. Asking yourself what is the AIR of each person (write it down!) and jointly developing a solution is the key according to this Harvard Business Review research.”

Read more at … http://s.hbr.org/1JUgaUC

DIRECT REPORTS & The Breaking Point is 10-12 Direct Reports

by Lighthouse: A Blog About Leadership & Management, 7/4/15.

The breaking point: 10-12 direct reports

We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said:

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, has a “2 Pizza Rule” which really translates to ~8 people, since a pizza is normally cut into 8 slices and 2 slices per person is a reasonable amount.

Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, uses the formula 7 +/- 3, which crucially takes into account how much time you could be committed to in 1 on 1s with everyone on your team.

Tomas Tunguz, VC at RedPoint Ventures deep dives into the concept from many sources to conclude “roughly 7″ and explores how “Span of Control” and “Span of Responsibility” impact it.

The consensus appears to be that double digit team sizes are generally a sign of trouble for a manager. So what do you do? Start developing leaders on your team.

Read more at … http://getlighthouse.stfi.re/blog/developing-leaders-team-grows-big/?sf=eyvzx

TEAMWORK & the rapid complexity that arises when your team or small group exceeds 10 people.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This image from StackOverflow shows the rapid complexity that arises when your team or small group exceeds 10 people.”developing leaders lines of communication stackoverflow

TEAMWORK & Keys to Developing Leaders When Your Team Grows Too Big

by Lighthouse: A Blog About Leadership & Management, 7/4/15.

…As your team grows, it becomes geometrically more complex to manage your team. As this image from StackOverflow below shows, every person you add to a team adds many more lines of communication, making everything harder for your team. developing leaders lines of communication stackoverflowAnd as a manager, you’re caught in the middle of this. As your team grows, there are more tasks to delegate and outcomes to manage, more communication issues to navigate, and more interests and motivations to consider. As those issues build up, it then becomes easy to have soft skills slip. Unfortunately, it’s exactly then, when you don’t give everyone the attention, feedback, and coaching they need, you all lose. Your team can easily slip into disorder or simply resentment for you as you break promises, forget what matters to them, and struggle under the growing stress.

The breaking point: 10-12 direct reports

We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, has a “2 Pizza Rule” which really translates to ~8 people, since a pizza is normally cut into 8 slices and 2 slices per person is a reasonable amount.
  • Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, uses the formula 7 +/- 3, which crucially takes into account how much time you could be committed to in 1 on 1s with everyone on your team.
  • Tomas Tunguz, VC at RedPoint Ventures deep dives into the concept from many sources to conclude “roughly 7″ and explores how “Span of Control” and “Span of Responsibility” impact it.

The consensus appears to be that double digit team sizes are generally a sign of trouble for a manager. So what do you do? Start developing leaders on your team.

Read more at … http://getlighthouse.stfi.re/blog/developing-leaders-team-grows-big/?sf=eyvzx

COMMUNICATION & Seven Habits Of Fearless People #ForbesMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This article explains how to communicate to your team and build teamwork. One of the most important rules is #3, which is talk to the person directly, not to others. And #4 is to make the rest of your team follow #3.”

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/06/13/seven-habits-of-fearless-people/

TEAMWORK & What Makes an Organization “Networked”? #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “People usually misunderstand the meaning of an organizational “network.” I’ve written a chapter about this in my book ORGANIX (Abingdon Press). But General Stanley McChrystal in his new book “Team of Teams” emphasizes that in the new “networked organization” we should create small informal networks that can morph and be ended as needed. These team-nets (my term) can be added to your existing organizational structure. General McChrystal created these teams among his fighting forces without changing the Army’s organizational structure. This means the “new network organization” creates short term task-forces or team-nets that organically get things done without changing the organizational structure. This is the same tactic I advocate we embrace in the church. For more on these new networks see this article in Harvard Business Review.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/06/what-makes-an-organization-networked

COMMUNICATION & Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team #HarvardBusinessReview

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/03/your-late-night-emails-are-hurting-your-team