Skip to Content

Archive for the ‘TEAMS’ Category

Thumbnail : Reaching Consensus on Key Decisions as a Self Directed Work Team

Reaching Consensus on Key Decisions as a Self Directed Work Team

Consensus is about agreement and support, unlike voting which is just about agreement. It’s a belief that when you disagree, you see something another person isn’t able to see. Therefore, the goal is not to push past you, but to try to understand what you see. It’s not about voting or any decision-making process that […]

Thumbnail : Making Decisions as a Self Directed Work Team

Making Decisions as a Self Directed Work Team

One of the vital differences in SDWTs is that silence during decision making is treated as disagreement.  This simple difference changes everything in terms of team dynamics.  People in a team environment have to show their position on any decision made, whether in agreement, needing time for more discussion or blocking the decision.  Right away […]

Thumbnail : Sowing the Field for Self Directed Work Teams in Your Organizations

Sowing the Field for Self Directed Work Teams in Your Organizations

Usually the first we try to do when we’re brought in to discuss building a culture around self directed work teams is to convince the organization not to do teaming.  We know, it sounds counter intuitive for a teaming firm like ours to convince the potential client not to do teams.  However, we take that […]

Thumbnail : Is Your Team like “Mom and Apple Pie?” – Guestblogger Betty DiMaria from Aras Performance

Is Your Team like “Mom and Apple Pie?” – Guestblogger Betty DiMaria from Aras Performance

Guestblogger: Betty DiMaria, CEO of Aras Performance – Betty has over 30 years experience in organizational performance, management, and technology.  She has worked in the corporate, nonprofit, and municipal sectors—in industries including insurance, health care, manufacturing, technology, government, and association management. In 2012, DiMaria founded Aras Performance Group, and serves as CEO and Performance Strategist. […]

Thumbnail : Creating a Dual-Operating System – The Star Point System of High Performance Teams

Creating a Dual-Operating System – The Star Point System of High Performance Teams

Organizations are always looking for structures that will help drive the necessary changes as well as improve the integration between various functions.  There is an option out there – called the Star Point System – that creates a “dual-operating system” which takes responsibility for crossing over functional areas and linking them all together. Years ago […]

Thumbnail : Millennials and Teams: The Perfect BFFs?

Millennials and Teams: The Perfect BFFs?

Next month on June 19th, we’ll be presenting Leading Millennials: How to Motivate, Lead and Retain the Millennial Generation in Your Workplace at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.  It’s been a while since we’ve done a blog post on this newest workplace generation (born 1980-2001), although our commitment to understanding and interest in the Millennial […]

Thumbnail : A Manufacturing Floor Operator’s Experience with High Performance Teams and What It’s Meant To Him

A Manufacturing Floor Operator’s Experience with High Performance Teams and What It’s Meant To Him

  This is a manufacturing floor operator’s thoughts on implementing a high performance team culture in his organization. They’re about 3 months into it and he is astounded at the results and being seen as a valuable asset to the organization.  Just get on the bus!

Thumbnail : How to Roll Out a Team Culture in 3 Years (Yes, It Should Take That Long)

How to Roll Out a Team Culture in 3 Years (Yes, It Should Take That Long)

An organizational change as massive as moving towards a high performance, self-directed team structure should take nothing less than 2 to 3 years to implement fully.  The complexity of completing the workload, shifting accountability and power and building collaborative competencies needed at every level of the organization, as well as the general acceptance of the […]

Thumbnail : The Façade of Teaming and What Real Teaming Looks Like

The Façade of Teaming and What Real Teaming Looks Like

No matter where we go or who we talk with about implementing a team-based organization, there is usually the “we’re pretty much teaming now” or “our teams are really at a high performance already” response. At that point we usually attend a team meeting, or watch a team perform on the floor, or we have […]

Thumbnail : How To Introduce Teams Into Your Organization’s Culture Without a Mutiny

How To Introduce Teams Into Your Organization’s Culture Without a Mutiny

One of the most critical moments in creating a high performance team culture is the day you decide to let the whole organization hear your plan.  Up to that point, the changing of culture and embracing of a new way of doing something, whether teaming or anything else, has probably been a strategic discussion behind […]

Thumbnail : Delegation: 11 Tips, Tactics and Tools to Effectively Harness the Power of Your Team

Delegation: 11 Tips, Tactics and Tools to Effectively Harness the Power of Your Team

Last week we wrote about the need for both a steering team and a design team in order to delegate the heavy demands on leadership to run both operations and designing cultural shifts within an organization.  We argued that having both the steering team (senior leadership team), as well as a design team (a team […]

Thumbnail : High Performance Teams – The Benefits of Creating Both a Steering Team and a Design Team for Maximum Output

High Performance Teams – The Benefits of Creating Both a Steering Team and a Design Team for Maximum Output

Recently, an organization expressed interest in transforming from a traditional top-down, supervisory model to a high performance, high engagement, lean organizational model.  These types of challenges place a heavy demand on leadership in terms of finding the time to run the operations and concurrently design, plan and implement something totally new.  As much as leadership […]

Thumbnail : Beware the Latest Buzzword:  Is ‘Holacracy’ Just Teaming in Disguise?

Beware the Latest Buzzword: Is ‘Holacracy’ Just Teaming in Disguise?

When Zappos indicated its strategic shift to the concept of “holacracy,” and suggested that management titles would be dissolved, everyone sat up and took notice.  What is holacracy?  What new social engineering is going on that we need to know about and perhaps copy? Not unlike the buzz of Total Quality Management, Lean, Six-Sigma, and […]

Thumbnail : Learn from the US Government Shutdown: Set Good Team Processes and Continually Improve Them

Learn from the US Government Shutdown: Set Good Team Processes and Continually Improve Them

Several weeks ago, we trained a group of employees on team effectiveness as they embarked on a rigorous program where in teams of three, they would be tasked with coming together each week, functioning as a team, to solve a complex business problem. It was clear from the start that these “mini-teams” would need to […]

Thumbnail : Government Shutdown and How to Bring a Dysfunctional Team Back to the Table to Work Together

Government Shutdown and How to Bring a Dysfunctional Team Back to the Table to Work Together

Having worked with all sorts of teams for nearly 30 years and written three books on team-building (and a soon to be a fourth), the “need” that continues to come up is around team repair and restoration.  How do you get teams back on track when they have derailed? We are all by now familiar […]

Thumbnail : SEDC Leadership Breakfast – Cross-Cultural Teaming Part 2

SEDC Leadership Breakfast – Cross-Cultural Teaming Part 2

Deborah Mackin, considered an international authority on self-directed work teams with over 28 years of experience, leads a packed room of business men and women on setting up their own cross-cultural teams. Sponsored by the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC)

Thumbnail : SEDC Breakfast Leadership Series with Deborah Mackin: Cross-Cultural Teaming

SEDC Breakfast Leadership Series with Deborah Mackin: Cross-Cultural Teaming

Deborah Mackin, author of the Team-Building series, and special guest speaker at SEDC’s Breakfast Leadership Series talks to a packed-room on building cross-cultural, high-functioning teams within organizations

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Executive Teams and Cross-Cultural Teams

TEAMING: Executive Teams and Cross-Cultural Teams

This week I’ll be speaking to two separate groups about teams:  the Capital Region HR Association on Executive Teams and the Saratoga Economic Development Council on Cross-Cultural Teaming.  Both are looking for ways to improve the functioning of their teams during economic times when the ability to maximize human potential is critical for success.  No […]

Thumbnail : What Makes a Team High-Performance: New Research Shows What It Takes

What Makes a Team High-Performance: New Research Shows What It Takes

We finally have objective data from 21 organizations over 7 years that validates what most team builders have known forever.  The soft, people skills – which really are not soft at all – make the difference in a team’s success.  Let’s look at what they found as defining characteristics:

Thumbnail : Fluid Teams: A New Type of Team for Today’s Demanding Environment

Fluid Teams: A New Type of Team for Today’s Demanding Environment

There is a new type of team emerging with an entirely different framework called Fluid Teams.  These are experts from disparate functions and geographies who must get a temporary project or task up and running, sometimes with completely different priorities, beliefs and values.

Thumbnail : SEDC Teaming in Tech Valley with Deborah Mackin – Interview 2

SEDC Teaming in Tech Valley with Deborah Mackin – Interview 2

Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author and founder/principle leadership coach at New Directions, an employee training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont, will be speaking on Cross-Cultural Teaming in the Tech-Valley Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Empire State College from 7:30-9:00 am.

Thumbnail : SEDC Teaming in Tech Valley – Interview 1

SEDC Teaming in Tech Valley – Interview 1

Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author and founder/principle leadership coach at New Directions, an employee training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont, will be speaking on Cross-Cultural Teaming in the Tech-Valley Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Empire State College from 7:30-9:00 am.

Thumbnail : TEAMING: Hybrid Teams and Why They Gain Greater Engagement, Idea Generation and Buy-In For Decisions

TEAMING: Hybrid Teams and Why They Gain Greater Engagement, Idea Generation and Buy-In For Decisions

Lisa and I were discussing a team training recently for a highly technical organization when an interesting dilemma emerged.  They call their project teams, teams; they call their project leaders, team leaders.  Yet, the amount of actual teamwork going on is minimal.  The team is accountable to the team leader; the team leader makes all […]

Thumbnail : TIME MANAGEMENT: Time Management and Getting More of What You’ve Got

TIME MANAGEMENT: Time Management and Getting More of What You’ve Got

Sometimes it flies, sometimes it crawls, but it always passes inexorably. We mark it, save it, waste it, bide it, race against it. We measure it incessantly, with a passion for precision that borders on the obsessive. Time is so vitally enmeshed with the fabric of our existence and yet we’re not always good at […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Most Difficult Workplace Situation

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Most Difficult Workplace Situation

  Some people suggest that there is a conflict every 20 minutes in the modern workplace. Those are just the ones we see. What about all the conflicts that are under the surface or gossiped about behind closed doors? It used to be that managers or supervisors were expected to resolve all the conflicts, but […]

Thumbnail : STRATEGY: The Dangers and Remedies for Groupthink

STRATEGY: The Dangers and Remedies for Groupthink

While William Whyte, Jr. coined the term, “Groupthink” in 1952 in Fortune magazine, Irving Janis, a research psychologist, in 1971, defined it as “…the mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive ingroup that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.” There are historically tragic […]

Thumbnail : TEAMING: NDCPodcaster – Deborah on putting teaming into everyday work

TEAMING: NDCPodcaster – Deborah on putting teaming into everyday work

Download Podcaster: Put Teaming Into Every Day Work Listen to Deborah Mackin & Michael Harrington as they talk more in depth about Deborah’s recent post on “There’s Team & Then There’s TEAMING: How To Get Teaming Into Everyday Work” and how crucial daily teaming is to the health of the team as a whole.   Questions being answered: 1) What […]

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: NDCPodcaster: Deborah on Preference vs. Skill

PERSONALITY: NDCPodcaster: Deborah on Preference vs. Skill

  Click Here To Download NDCPodcaster: Preference vs. Skill    Listen to Deborah Mackin & Michael Harrington as they talk more in depth about Deb’s recent post on “Preference vs. Skill Development” and how the MBTI assessment can help a professional develop certain skills to be a more well-rounded employee.

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: NDCPodcaster – Deborah on Pleasure vs. Accomplishment

PERSONALITY: NDCPodcaster – Deborah on Pleasure vs. Accomplishment

  Click Here To Download NDCPodcaster: Pleasure vs Accomplishment

Thumbnail : DECISION MAKING: 3 Foundations To Business Decision Making

DECISION MAKING: 3 Foundations To Business Decision Making

Click Here To Download NDCPodcaster: 3 Fundamentals To Business Decision Making By Michael Harrington, Director for New Training and Strategic Initiatives Featured in the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce’s Business Library (October 2010)

Who We Are

An innovative training and employee development firm located in southern Vermont since 1984, we specialize in helping organizations get the most out of their people by raising the bar, inspiring potential and partnering with organizations to build a people-centered, high-engagement culture.

Our Twitter Feed