Series on High-performance and Dysfunctional Teams

I have planned a series of posts on teams. I planned this because of two reasons:

  1. I have left the company I was in for 5 ½ years and where I learned so much about teams, and had opportunity to work in great teams as well as rank bad teams, but all of these providing huge lessons learnt.
  2. I have joined a new company now, in a new country, and in a new role (one reason why I have virtually stopped posting here, till now). This offers me a different perspective to evaluate my lessons with, as well as provides new opportunities to practice them and see them work or fail.

Rather than using good and bad adjectives, which are highly subjective and vague, I will use ‘high-performance’ and ‘dysfunctional’, which are subjective too, but at least there is some sense of meaning to them. I am borrowing these terms from The Wisdom of Teams, the landmark book that gave us the definition of a team, and from The five dysfunctions of a team, a fable about leadership with great insights. Both the books are must-read if you are interested in understanding teams.

My posts will specifically talk about following topics:

  1. Characteristics of high-performance teams, and dysfunctional teams
  2. How do you know when you are in a high-performance team, or a dysfunctional one?
  3. How do you deal with a dysfunctional team? How do you change such a team, as a member or as a leader?
  4. How do you build great teams? How do you help the leader build great teams?
  5. Joining a new team: How do you enter an already-formed team?
  6. Do team concepts differ across companies and across countries? My experiences with India, USA and China, across startups, mid-size, and large companies.

A caveat: While most of these are my personal experiences, this has a good mix from experience of others around me too. So when you read these posts and comment on them, please focus on the thoughts, ideas and opinions rather than the story. All these are my personal opinions and reading of the situations, and others involved in the same situation would read it differently.

Hope you will enjoy all this activity on this blog after a long time!

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