These are some of the characteristics of the culture of excellence that I want to see in teams I work with. I think great teams that work in any creative field will share these qualities:
- Optimistic aspiration to greatness – individuals and teams seek out excellence on their own.
- Shared vision – people and teams are aligned around the same vision and goals, minimizing conflicts and wasted effort
- Swift and effective conflict resolution – teams minimize waste and maximize speed
- Results count, not effort – people are oriented on what matters
- Best ideas win regardless of source – improvements are accepted without politics
- Interest in improving team performance over time – people work to create an environment that supports personal and team growth
- Creative intimacy – cross-functional teams that work closely together, and include engineering, business, and user experience people for example
- Proactive self-organization – teams decide what to do and do it, and do not wait to be told what to do
- Great decisions are the norm – and meetings are mainly held to make decisions, not pass along information
- Mistakes and learning are celebrated and encouraged – maximizing learning and encouraging growth
- Healthy relationship to authority – people lead and follow as necessary without cynicism
I think #CultureHacking is about creating teams that have these qualities, since teams that have them will be fun, effective, and truly able to contribute new positive innovations to our society. I work in software, so another reason I care about this because I want the cross-functional (business and technical) teams that I work with to be able to rapidly ship great products and services that customers love.
(Thanks to Michele McCarthy and David Socha for their help writing this list.)
One Response to “Characteristics of great teams”
This is a really good list. I can’t think of anything else to add.