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What Does Diversity Have to Do with Innovation?


For many, the word “diversity” brings up images of staid EEOC training or well-intended but not necessarily critical programs—the “have-to-dos” that don’t get much buy-in or enthusiastic support across the business. So it’s probably not the first word that comes to mind when you’re talking about innovation.

But here’s why it should be.

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What To Do When Turnover Hits Your Dream Team


There’s nothing better than a team that’s found its rhythm. Healthy debate, deep trust, respect for each others’ ideas, mutual accountability and’s truly the dream team.

And then someone leaves.

Dealing with employee turnover is always a challenge, and it can be particularly disruptive when it happens to a tight-knit, high-performing team. No matter how great things are today, when a key person leaves, it can throw off your productivity, morale and even your results.

People leave. That’s the reality. But the best defense against turnover is having a plan in place before the inevitable happens. Let’s look at a Whole Brain ® approach you can follow to plan for turnover and keep your team on track when a member departs and a new member comes on board.

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Brain Trust Blueprint: The #1 Trait of Unbeatable Teams [INFOGRAPHIC]


Teams have never been more important in business. But with the demands and complexities of today’s work environment—not to mention the challenges of working with global, remote or regularly changing team members—working in a team isn’t always easy.

A great team is a “brain trust” of diverse thinkers, one that’s greater than the sum of its parts. They’re collaborators you can count on to bring new perspectives to the table, listen to and value your ideas, and stay accountable to common goals, especially when the pressure heats up.

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How to Build a High-Performing Multigenerational Sales Team


This is a guest post by David Szen. David is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner specializing in sales training design, leadership development and coaching performance management. As a Principal Consultant at Symmetrics Group, David designs and delivers custom training programs for sales leaders and professionals. His book, The Multigenerational Sales Team, co-authored with Symmetrics Group’s founder and managing partner Warren Shiver, focuses on the increasing need for sales organizations to more effectively leverage talent from generational groups who think, sell and buy in vastly different ways.

According to estimates by the US Department of Labor, in less than ten years, Millennials will represent almost 75% of the workforce. But the multigenerational salesforce is already here, and businesses are struggling with how to develop a cohesive, collaborative team that not only manages through that diversity but thrives on it.

We heard about these challenges as we talked to business leaders while we were writing our new book, The Multigenerational Sales Team. Some of the key questions we explored were: How can generations with different perspectives find ways to successfully work together? And how do you recruit, train and deploy different generations of salespeople to build an effective sales team?

They’re issues that every sales leader needs to get a handle on for their organizations to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive selling environment, one where generational differences can have far-reaching impact.

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How to Use a Team Dashboard to Improve Collaboration


Is your team’s specialty putting out fires?

Being able to deal with a big crisis is a good skill for any team to have. But why wait until the sirens are blasting to think about your team’s performance?

Not every crisis can be prevented, but many teams keep getting caught off guard by problems that could have been identified and addressed long before they turned into an emergency. Without regular maintenance checks to provide line of sight to performance and progress, though, it can be difficult to detect the little sparks that, over time, can do a whole lot of damage.

A team dashboard is a great way to get everyone on the same page and make sure the team isn’t missing any important checks or clues to potential problems down the road. It can help your team sidestep the preventable problems and be better prepared when the unavoidable happens.

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4 Team Meeting Ideas to Refresh Your Routine


Month after month (or maybe it’s week after week), your team gets together for its regularly scheduled meeting. It’s an important chance to connect, check progress, work through current issues and come up with new ideas and strategies for the future.

But is it all starting to feel a bit stale?

As John Medina, author of the book Brain Rules, has noted, “People don't pay attention to boring things. So if you really want to have a lousy meeting, make sure it's boring.” In other words, if it’s not somewhat interesting and fun, the brain checks out. And that means boring meetings are more than just potential morale killers and insomnia cures; they can also be a colossal waste of time.

So, back to that regularly scheduled meeting: When was the last time you looked over your team meeting routine? Now might be a good time for a refresh.

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How to Build Trust in a Virtual Team


A little over a decade ago, the remote workforce was dominated by people in outside sales roles. They came into the office on occasion for meetings or, if they were local, to load up on marketing brochures and office supplies. But for the most part, they were out of sight.

They certainly weren’t out of mind.

I can still distinctly remember the comments around the office: Are they really working? He probably spends half the day watching TV and running errands. She’s never there when I call—who knows what she does all day.

Of course, today’s virtual workforce is no longer limited to sales roles. According to the latest research from, 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time, and since 2005, the regular work-at-home population (not including the self-employed) has grown 103%.

But just because more employees and teams are working virtually, it doesn’t mean we’ve solved those age-old trust issues. In fact, with the rise of virtual teams, we’ve seen new challenges, from miscommunications and conflict to questions about accountability to a feeling of disconnect and detachment from each other and the team’s common purpose.

The news isn’t all bad. When the conditions are right, virtual teams can be more productive and more engaged than those who work together in the same office every day. The key is to make sure you have those right conditions in place.

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These Team Building Exercises Will Prepare Your Team to Dominate in Q1


This morning, I experienced the annual ritual that reminds me it’s the beginning of a new year: I had trouble finding a parking spot at my gym.

With the holidays behind us and the clean slate of the new year laid out in front of us, fitness is on the minds of many. But this doesn’t have to be just about physical well-being. Now’s the perfect time to redouble your focus on building the health and fitness of your team at work.

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How to Improve Teamwork: The Introversion/Extroversion Variable


At the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, every writer will give a reading at some point during the week to an auditorium full of people. It will be brand new work that you’ve just written, shaped as much as possible with the help of the participants in your workshop, people you’ve known since Saturday. In between, you’ll sleep in spartan college dorms, eat together in the cafeteria and, occasionally, when you can be inspired no more, throw back a few drinks at the local bar.

In many ways, it’s the introvert’s nightmare. It’s also what makes these conferences so fascinating. A group of writers, many of whom fall somewhere on the introverted side of the scale—ambivert at best—willingly put themselves in what is potentially the most energy-draining situation possible. The entire scenario seems designed to work against their strengths.

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10 Quotes to Open the Lines of Cross-Functional Communications

More project-focused work, flatter organizations, increasing complexity, the rise of holacracies, evolving management structures…they all add up to more cross-functional teaming in the workplace. But based on the results of a study conducted last year, we may be a little too optimistic when we include the word "functional" in that description.  
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