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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Talent and Performance Development
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What Can Swarms Teach Us About Teams and High Performance?

What Can Swarms Teach Us About Teams and High Performance? | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

"Do you want your organization to behave in a more collaborative way? For better results, try taking some cues from nature."


The notion of “swarming” to assemble a cross-functional or cross-departmental team, could be considered a key factor in an organization’s ability to develop and thrive.


Gartner described a work swarm as a “flurry of collective activity” to deal with non-routine workplace problems or opportunities. Without this option, organizations can fall short in their quest to respond to stressors (or opportunities) in quickly changing internal and external environments.


....Building a pipeline of talent is imperative with swarming – but this should be developed in a manner that is meaningful. Mapping the skills and strengths of potential team players within relevant industries, becomes a critical goal.


Furthermore, teaming applications (like Jostle), can also help document the evolving skill sets of potential contributors.


Related posts by Deb:


    

 3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way

    

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

    

Agile Leader Learning for Sustainable Change: Steps through Sharp Rocks

    

Co-Creation in Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges & the Road to Commitment

    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Agile Learning include teams including flexible, adaptable conditions, vs. more rigid hierarchies, that allow teams to develop.  ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 22, 2013 9:47 AM

If you want to jump start an exploration of swarming, look at large group methods  that are swarm friendly, including Open Space Technology - photos here.


Also, this article reminds me of the Membership, Control, Goal simple model that helps create movement & synergy in a team.


I'm encouraged by organizations looking seriously into swarming support and creating more  permeable boundaries around formerly rigid roles.   ~  Deb

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, November 7, 2013 11:07 AM

A post that gathered interest  right away on the Talent and Performance Development curation stream.  Note the key aspect, "non-routine" workplace problems or opportunities. "


Don't we all have these?  Are we ready to respond to non-standard events, "anti-fragile?"


From  Talent and Performance Development, which also features recent articles on performance metrics and management (reinvention.)

~  Deb 

Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Change Leadership Watch
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The Hard Science of Teamwork, Teams that Click | HBR's April issue

The Hard Science of Teamwork, Teams that Click | HBR's April issue | Agile Learning | Scoop.it

"We've discovered that some things matter much less than you may suspect when building a great team. Getting the smartest people, for example."


HBR has a new issue out this month, April 2012 on teams.  In my LinkedIn review of what's new, I see that there may be some updates to the team models and traditions of the likes of Belbin, Tuckman, Gibb-Dannemiller and crew.


Excerpted from a pre-publication blog post by Alex "Sandy" Pentland:


"...I've encountered teams that are "clicking." I've experienced the "buzz" of a group that's blazing away with new ideas in a way that makes it seem they can read each others' minds."


____________________________


How we communicate turns out to be the most important predictor of team success, and as important as all other factors combined, including intelligence, personality, skill, and content of discussions.

____________________________


MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory used wearable electronic sensors to capture how people communicate in real time.  Not only did they determine the characteristics that make up great teams, but they also described those characteristics mathematically. 


What's more, we've discovered that some things matter much less than you may suspect when building a great team. Getting the smartest people, for example.


Our data show that great teams:


Communicate frequently. In a typical project team a dozen or so communication exchanges per working hour may turn out to be optimum; but more or less than that and team performance can decline.


Talk and listen in equal measure, equally among members. Lower performing teams have dominant members, teams within teams, and members who talk or listen but don't do both.


Engage in frequent informal communication. The best teams spend about half their time communicating outside of formal meetings or as "asides" during team meetings, and increasing opportunities for informal communication tends to increase team performance.


Explore for ideas and information outside the group. The best teams periodically connect with many different outside sources and bring what they learn back to the team.


You'll notice that none of the factors outlined above concern the substance of a team's communication. 


...According to our data, it's as true for humans as for bees: How we communicate turns out to be the most important predictor of team success, and as important as all other factors combined, including intelligence, personality, skill, and content of discussions. The old adage that it's not what you say, but how you say it, turns out to be mathematically correct.


Read the full blog post, The Hard Science of Teamwork, here.



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