After two years of study of over 100 teams, Google discovered the secret sauce of its most highly effective teams.
First they looked to see if it mattered who was on the team. But “no matter how researchers arranged the data, it was almost impossible to find … any evidence that the composition of a team made any difference.”*
What did matter: Group Norms. But what norms, what behaviors in the group?
The NUMBER ONE factor: a culture of “psychological safety… characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.” (NYT)
Psychological safety included empathy for their teammates and “conversational turn-taking”, where team members spoke up in roughly the same proportion.
The other items on the list:
- Dependable members
- Clear roles, plans, goals
- Knowing that the work was meaningful
- Doing work that had an impact
Does that also sound like the perfect board to you? It sure does to us, as building that team is the foundation of our work with boards.
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