Clear your brains — and your path — by saying no

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 | Tags: , | No Comments

Most teams don’t lack for ideas about what to do. More often, the problem is that they have too many ideas kicking around. And all that possibility leaves the team distracted and overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need to ask: What can we afford not to do? Giving yourself permission to ask this can help you take an unsentimental look […]

Minding the gap when a team member leaves

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 | No Comments

When team members leave, it almost always causes a temporary disruption to the team’s state of flow. But even when a new normal sets in, there can be gaps the team doesn’t always see or recognize — places where old team members were especially strong or unique qualities they seemed to have. If your team has seen more than […]

Imagining life after the problem is solved

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 | Tags: | No Comments

When a team is stuck, it’s natural to start interrogating the situation: What’s happening? What caused the problem? Is it part of a pattern we’ve seen before? These are great questions, but sometimes they can lead the team to root causes that feel big and daunting. If you find yourself paralyzed after you’ve analyzed a problem, try asking a […]

Knowing when to raise a flag

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 | Tags: , | No Comments

Almost all of us have a gut sense when things feel off with the team — like when everyone is working later and later hours but the team still struggles to hit deadlines, or when conversations between team members have an edge to them. While it can be hard to summon the courage to say […]

Stay a step ahead of change

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 | Tags: , | No Comments

There’s nothing so certain as change, and nothing more dizzying than being caught off-guard by it. You may be focused on powerful, purposeful work — but if your team has tunnel vision, all that time and effort might be undermined. Here’s a question that will help you stay prepared.

When conflict is slowing the team down

Posted on May 27, 2014 | Tags: , | No Comments

One of the most common team types we see is one we call “Fierce but Fragmented.” This is a team made up of passionate people who all care about doing great work but who have a hard time collaborating together. Often, the source of the problem is weak or broken duos—people don’t fully understand or […]

Provocative question: Gut check your team’s goals

Posted on May 20, 2014 | Tags: , | No Comments

Success looks like different things to different teams. It depends on context, history, purpose, and the team’s identity — which means that it’s crucial to gut check your ambitions. As a team, tackle this question: Did we commit to this outcome because we really want it, or because someone told us it’s what we should want? […]

A question to help identify stale habits

Posted on May 13, 2014 | Tags: , | 4 Comments

If you find that your team is stalling, spinning, or keeps bumping up against the same old obstacles, maybe it’s time to take a long hard look at the team’s day-to-day behaviors and assumptions. Kick off discussion with this provocative question at your next team meeting: What habits or behaviors have become such an ingrained part of our team culture […]

Introducing the Teamworks Question of the Week

Posted on May 6, 2014 | No Comments

A number of us on the Teamworks team have had our heads buried in Warren Berger’s new book,  A More Beautiful Question. In it, Berger talks about the power of “an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something.” Asking simple, honest questions is a core […]