What Actually Makes a Successful Team

unnamedBy Marc-Andre Olivier

Google recently conducted an internal study of 180+ active Google teams to find out what was the secret sauce of the most successful ones. They assumed it would be some particular combination of engineers, personality types and flavors of achievers, but they were dead wrong. It wasn’t about who was on the team, but how well they interact, structure their work and find meaning in their contributions.

This is no surprise to us at Learning as Leadership since we’ve worked closely with teams for nearly 30 years, but we’re always grateful to get confirmation. Even better, the most critical characteristic that separates the stellar teams at Google from the others is the core of what we teach in all our programs: the cultivation of psychological safety – the sense that team members can take risks without fear of retribution.

“Individuals on teams with higher psychological safety are less likely to leave Google, they’re more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they bring in more revenue, and they’re rated as effective twice as often by executives.”

Two other traits of the stellar teams were that they feel the work is personally important to them and it’s making a difference in the world. LaL’s emphasis on training participants to be able to shift to an At the Source mindset and create a Noble Goal encourages them to find a connection to greater purpose that inspires and motivates them to contribute their best.

We’re delighted to share more data-driven science that backs up the power of cultures of professional vulnerability and inspiration!

Read about the study on Google’s re:Work blog here.

Check out our upcoming seminars here.


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