Assess Your Team

4 Team Meeting Ideas to Refresh Your Routine

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

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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

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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

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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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Why World-Class Talent Doesn’t Always Make a World-Class Team

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A number of years ago, an oil company was working on a billion-dollar proposal to design a superior offshore rig and drilling method to optimize the deepwater oil exploration process. They brought together a team of world-class experts in each of the technical phases of offshore drilling—the idea being that they could combine their individual areas of expertise in a synergistic way to come up with the optimum drilling process.

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What High-Performing Teams Know About Thought Diversity

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Few people enjoy conflict, especially in the workplace. Most of the time, we try to avoid it, which is totally understandable. Especially when working in a team situation, it’s much smoother when everyone gets along and goes along. And when everyone is coming at an issue from the same angle, it’s much easier to sidestep conflict.

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Diversity of Thought Drives Inclusion and Business Results at ConAgra Foods

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Over the past several years, a leader’s ability to be inclusive of diversity of thought and leverage it through Whole Brain® Thinking has become a strategic engagement and business enabler at ConAgra Foods—and experts in the D&I field are taking notice.

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3 Tips for Overcoming the Frustrations of Collaboration

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"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." – Aristotle

I played the flute earlier in life and remember the thrill of my first solo performance, particularly exciting since I had written the music. But as lovely as that was, a solo flute with no accompaniment has a singular sound. It comes alive when other instruments join in.

Playing in the school band transformed my solo voice into a full blown and complete tapestry of performance—one that a solo instrument really couldn’t match. It was more challenging, but the effort was clearly worth it.

I thought about this recently as I was collaborating on a presentation for a conference with a client. I’m used to working alone on many of my keynotes, and I quickly discovered that this type of collaboration takes a lot more time and back and forth.

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Want to Accelerate Innovation? Embrace the Power of "And"

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The pressure’s building. It’s a consumer-driven world, and staying relevant means keeping pace with an ever-intensifying rate of change.

With so much data available now, new competitors are popping up all over, ready to fill the void if you can’t keep up. The race is on to get there first, to get that new product out there or to innovate your process so you can meet demand and stake your claim on the market.

There are some obvious advantages to being first to market with a new product or innovation. But in the rush to be first on the scene, with the analysis done and the case made, it can be pretty tempting to ignore potential user issues or alternative ideas, or to downplay latent quality issues or opportunities for improvements.

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4 Steps to Integrate Thinking into Your Team Building Exercises

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Team building exercises. Just the words can bring up strong feelings and long memories, from awkward exercises and superficial “feel-good” activities to other tasks that have questionable—if any—lasting business value.

But we know that teams are essential to getting work done in today’s business environment. A large majority of the workplace now spends a high percentage of its time in team-related activities, and this trend is only expected to escalate.

But as we also know from our own team experiences, you don’t automatically get the results you’re looking for just by bringing people together. Communication breakdowns, competing priorities, conflict and a lack of trust are just a few of the obstacles that can, and often do, get in the way of the team’s success.

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