Teamwork makes the dream work

"Teamwork makes the dream work." John C. Maxwell

My 8 year old daughter once said to me after we managed to get the dogs into the car after their walk, without bringing half the mud in the park with them. Success! A catchy maxim by Maxwell but if teamwork makes the dream work what makes the teamwork?

Loads of research on this topic. Google's Project Aristotle is one of my favourites though. 100's of teams and millions of dollars were spent trying to understand the critical characteristics of top teams.

The number one variable surprised everyone. It was not IQ, EQ, personality traits, education, age or any other demographic like that. The number one variable was psychological safety (PS).

Harvard's Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines PS as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’ PS is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up.

It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’

PS is the key to make the teamwork that makes the dream work.