Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Alchemy 101

Here is my current passion, alchemy. A modern type of alchemy in fact. An alchemy involved with teams. The type that isn't going to convert copper to gold but has the aim of converting a good team to a great team. (There might be some hopes for converting a mediocre team to a good team too)
This modern alchemy would be much better than the ancient alchemy since a good team is for sure much more valuable than gold. (Hopefully it can continuously generate gold!)

Is this possible at all? Well, that is exactly what I am after and so far I believe it could be possible. However the ancient alchemists also believed that they could convert the regular metal to gold, so I should know more about the resemblance of this modern alchemy with the predecessors some time in the future. Either way, the journey has started.  😐

The first phase, like most first phases, is doing the homework. In this case studying the current literature and research on the topic. It has been a while that I have started this phase and I will reflect the main points here in a series of posts hopefully.

There are a few main questions revolving around the idea of good teams, these include:

  1. What are the characteristics of a good team player?
  2. What are the characteristics of a good team leader?
  3. What are the characteristics of a good team?
  4. How can we measure the performance of a team?
  5. How can we predict the performance of a team?
  6. How does psychology affect teamwork?
  7. How does diversity affect good teamwork?
  8. How do creative teams work? Group genius, team chemistry and synergy?
  9. What makes teams dysfunctional?
  10. How can a team become a better team?
While studying all of the topics above are very necessary, I am focused on exploring the answers for the final question, the actual alchemy. This has been an area that has been studied less than the others and to many it seems to be impossible and it isn't unusual for managers to want to change team structure whenever a deficiency is sensed in the team. Changing and hoping the new team works well might be easy but finding out how to change the existing team and make it better seems to be the hard solution.

I have always believed that any good product or service created is so much dependent on the great people behind it that the other factors like financial resources, timing or luck really seem insignificant. Teams are the software needed to run these groups of people and the more we know about the concept of teams, the more valuable we can be.

The alchemy series of posts will be attempts to uncover the secrets of great teams.

And this was a short introduction to my alchemy.

No comments: