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Harvard Business Review on Building Better Teams [Paperback]

Harvard Business Review
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 17 2011 Harvard Business Review
Most teams underperform. Yours can beat the odds.

If you need the best practices and ideas for superior team building--but don't have time to find them--this book is for you. Here are 10 inspiring and useful perspectives, all in one place.

This collection of HBR articles will help you:

- Boost team performance through mutual accountability

- Motivate large, diverse groups to tackle complex projects

- Increase groups' emotional intelligence

- Reverse the fortunes of a struggling team

- Prevent decision deadlock

- Extract results from a bunch of touchy superstars

- Fight constructively with top-management colleagues

- Ensure productivity in far-flung teams

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If you need the best practices and ideas for the business challenges you face--but don't have time to find them--Harvard Business Review paperbacks are for you. Each book is a collection of HBR's inspiring and useful perspectives on a specific topic, all in one place.

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This review is from: Harvard Business Review on Building Better Teams

Those who aspire to help create and then lead create teams that deliver high-impact results will find the material in this HBR book invaluable. It is one of the volumes in a series of anthologies of articles that first appeared in Harvard Business Review. Authors of the ten articles focus on one or more components of a process by which to boost team performance through mutual accountability, motivate large and diverse groups, increase team members' emotional intelligence, salvage an under-performing team, prevent or overcome decision deadlock, extract excellent results from "a bunch of touchy superstars," compete constructively senior-level colleagues, and ensure productivity of far-flung teams.

Having read all of the articles when they were published individually, I can personally attest to the brilliance of their authors' (or co-authors') insights and the eloquence with which they are expressed. Two substantial value-added benefits should also be noted: If all of the articles were purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be at least $60-75; they are now conveniently bound in a single volume for a fraction of that cost.

I now provide two brief excerpts that are representative of the high quality of all ten articles:

In "The Discipline of Teams," Jon Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith offer some practical suggestions that are relevant to almost any team (whatever its objectives) in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be). They suggest that a team's essential discipline comprises five characteristics:

1. A meaningful common purpose that the team has helped to shape.
2. Specific performance goals that flow from the common purpose.
3.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why some teams "shoot out the lights"...and most don't Sept. 14 2011
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Those who aspire to help create and then lead create teams that deliver high-impact results will find the material in this HBR book invaluable. It is one of the volumes in a series of anthologies of articles that first appeared in Harvard Business Review. Authors of the ten articles focus on one or more components of a process by which to boost team performance through mutual accountability, motivate large and diverse groups, increase team members' emotional intelligence, salvage an under-performing team, prevent or overcome decision deadlock, extract excellent results from "a bunch of touchy superstars," compete constructively senior-level colleagues, and ensure productivity of far-flung teams.

Having read all of the articles when they were published individually, I can personally attest to the brilliance of their authors' (or co-authors') insights and the eloquence with which they are expressed. Two substantial value-added benefits should also be noted: If all of the articles were purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be at least $60-75; they are now conveniently bound in a single volume for a fraction of that cost.

I now provide two brief excerpts that are representative of the high quality of all ten articles:

In "The Discipline of Teams," Jon Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith offer some practical suggestions that are relevant to almost any team (whatever its objectives) in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be). They suggest that a team's essential discipline comprises five characteristics:

1. A meaningful common purpose that the team has helped to shape.
2. Specific performance goals that flow from the common purpose.
3. A mix of complementary skills.
4. A strong commitment to how the work gets done.
5. Mutual as well as individual accountability.

They also discuss several different approaches that have worked well for many high-impact teams:

o Establish urgency, demanding performance standards, and clear direction.
o Select members for skill and skill potential, not personality.
o Pay particular attention to first meetings and actions because initial impressions always mean a great deal, for better or worse.
o Set crystal clear rules of behavior

In "The Tough Work of Turning Around a Team," former NFL head coach Bill Parcells offers this advice:

"If you want to get the most out of people, you have to apply pressure - that's the only thing that any of us really responds to. As a coach, I've always tried to turn up the heat under my people, to constantly push them to perform at a high level.

"Creating pressure in an organization requires creating confrontation, and it can get very intense, very emotional. I've seen coaches avoid confrontations with their players because they don't like conflict, and I assume the same thing is true among the leaders of business teams. But I've actually come to relish confrontation, not because it makes me feel powerful but because it provides an opportunity to get things straight with people. It's nit until you look people in the eye that you get to the sources of their behavior and motivation. Without confrontation, you're not going to change the way they think and act."

Other articles in this anthology I especially enjoyed include "Why Teams Don't Work" (Diane Coutu), `Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups" (Vanessa Urch Druskay and Steven B. Wolff), and "How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight" (Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Jean L. Kahwajy, and L.J. Bourgeois III).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Team Building May 17 2013
By Humski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I manage a team of financial analyst whose job is to review our business performance, develop new strategies and drive the implementation of those strategies across our business. I bought this book to help build a better team environment because many of the tasks they do are individualistic.

With that said, this booked helped give me new and different ideas on how to grow the team, both horizontally as well as vertically.

Like most of the self-help type books it gives you some new ideas,some new ways to look at things and most importantly really makes you think about how to apply them to your team. There is a lot more "art" than there is "science" when it comes to developing people and this gives you some new colors to use.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!! Aug. 18 2013
By Tony - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Had a lot of great ideas that I have not thought about when managing a team. HBR has never let me down.
4.0 out of 5 stars get your mind moving May 19 2013
By Scott M. Beare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I spent a few years coordinating projects and found this book insightful and easy to read.
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good April 11 2013
By bonnie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good illustrations. Bought this book for a class. It is fairly easy to read. Generally neutral feeling about this book.
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