The 5 things you need to make your teams more effective, according to Google

Google

Google, New York, United States (Arthur Osipyan, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


What makes a great team? Four years ago, Google announced it had the answer. The tech giant said its research showed personality types were not as important as setting a clear framework to support a team.

Abeer Dubey, who led the research by Google’s People Analytics division told The New York Times: “We had lots of data, but there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.”

On revisiting its findings, Google sparked a new debate about how teams really work. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) disagreed with the Google research, asserting that personality types were still key to building great teams.

Dave Winsborough, head of personality profiler Hogan X and Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at staffing firm ManpowerGroup, said in the article that Google was arguing success depended on a team’s collective level of emotional intelligence and good communication.

“Google’s recipe of being nice and joining in makes perfect sense and is hardly counterintuitive,” they said. “Perhaps more surprising, Google’s research implies that the kinds of people in the team are not so relevant.

“While that may be true at Google, a company where people are preselected on the basis of their personality (or “Googliness”), this finding is inconsistent with the wider scientific evidence, which indicates quite clearly that individuals’ personalities play a significant role in determining team performance.”

The authors said in their experience, teams rarely perform at maximum capacity because most of the models devoted to creating high-performing teams focus solely on skills and experience, and ignore the influence of personality.

“Achieving the right mix of skills, experience, and personality is the key to a productive team and contented workforce. Get that mix wrong, by even just one individual, and the results can be disastrous.”

Google’s five dynamics of an effective team:

  • 1. Psychological safety – empowering people to contribute without fear and to own up to mistakes
  • 2. Dependability – members of dependable teams can rely on one another to live up to their responsibilities
  • 3. Structure and clarity – a team that has clear roles, goals and plans
  • 4. Meaning – a sense of purpose in the team’s work or its output is vitally important for team effectiveness
  • 5. Impact – belief that the work makes a difference to an organization’s goals and will bring about change.

Google says the most important of its five dynamics is psychological safety. The research found teams with high scores for psychological safety exceeded sales targets by an average of 17%, while those with low ratings fell short by as much as 19%.

Understanding personalities

There is a plethora of psychological tools out there to help managers understand the traits of their people and combine them for maximum effectiveness.

One of the first was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed in the first half of the 20th century by mother and daughter team Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Based on the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, they built a tool that defines an individual’s personality traits using four categories.

Like the later Belbin Team Roles, developed by an academic at the UK’s Henley Business School, the idea is that if people have a better understanding of their colleagues’ personalities they will be able to play to their strengths as members of a team.

The role of business leaders

Bernadette Wightman, Managing Director, Global Services, BT Group emphasises the role of business leaders in building strong teams. Speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this year she said leaders were defined by the quality of their teams.

Leaders must coach and mentor teams and avoid corporate speak if they want to raise engagement. “It’s never the wrong time to build the right team. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to attract the very best people to create a team that’s greater than the sum of its parts,” she said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Berlin vies for a Germanic European Central Bank

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

First-ever World Braille Day underscores importance of written language for human rights

Educational disadvantage starts from age 10

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

We need a global convention to end workplace sexual harassment

How cities are failing to be inclusive – and what they can do about it

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile Connect availability hits 2B

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Albinism, displacement in Central America, family-friendly nations, updates on the Gulf and Darfur

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

We’ve lost 60% of wildlife in less than 50 years

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

How cities can lead the way in bridging the global housing gap

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

Cocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs’ – major threat to public health says UN study

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

The UK remains in the EU until a new Brexit date is set

Syria still suffering ‘staggering levels’ of humanitarian need, Security Council hears

How to have a good Fourth Industrial Revolution

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

Dual Food Quality: Commission releases study assessing differences in the composition of EU food products

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

New Zealand has unveiled its first ‘well-being’ budget

G20 starts to tackle inequality

These are the benefits of learning a second language

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

These countries are leading the charge to clean energy

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

Eurozone close to agreeing on a Banking Union

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

MEPs Anti-fraud votes for more votes?

More women than ever before are running for political office in the US

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s