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Team Building: How to use Moneyball at the office to build great teams

Stashed in: Talent, Leadership!, Moneyball, #greatness, Risk!, Dilbert, Teamwork, Management, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Kaizen, Leadership, RTFM!, Mind Blown!, Life Hacks, Leadership, Most Important Stash Ever, Stoos, Management

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Wow, pretty mind-blowing:

Teams that reported 10 times the number of errors had the best leadership and best coworker relationships.

Everybody makes errors. These teams actually reported them all. So they learned. And got better. And trusted each other.

This is why in professional sports it's important to take risks and make mistakes early in the season. It helps the team to learn and gel for later when everything is on the line in the playoffs. 

By the way, this is very true:

There are a lot of myths about team building.

For instance: People are not a company’s most valuable asset.

The right people are.

And the best people are worth it.

Yes, they’re that much better. There are Michael Jordans in every industry.

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Hmmm... Adam, I always get a little concerned with the Michael Jordan analogy as it tends to perpetuate the 10x engineer myth. Even Jordan would not have played well solo against 10 average NBA players. And while he was a fantastic player, he was absolute crap identifying talent and at putting together a team. As we've seen, dig a little into the "science" of achievement and many of the studies turn out to be very flawed. I have seen that implementing best practices in the form of continuous improvement processes (e.g., Deming's TQM in manufacturing, or Agile and TDD in software development) and management that not only supports those practices, but provides training as well as room and a plan for employees to continuously improve their skills can have massive benefits for productivity, product quality and employee motivation. In the right context people who seemed below average suddenly look like superstars. It's not magic or genius or finding diamonds in the rough, it's just paying attention, and adapting best practices to the current context. So much of what goes on in most "teams" are just ad-hoc rules of thumb based on unreflected upon tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge can be very easily misapplied as current context alters due to changes in everything from politics to technology to increasing numbers of people involved in an enterprise, like a startup that goes 5 employees to 300 but tries to work the same way. I get immensely frustrated with nonsense I hear from companies that they cannot find people with the "basic skills" they need, yet have no comprehensive training plan. 

Learning dispositions of team members are very important:  

1. This means an individual must have an internal locus of control, which focuses their personal awareness on taking responsibility for results instead of blaming others or the environment, e.g. .

-External locus of control: "I did everything I could for the event BUT it rained--it's not my fault."

-Internal locus of control: "Damn, I screwed up, I could of made plans for a backup, sheltered venue and had a busted deal discount with the vendors--my bad, won't make that mistake again."


It's hard to learn from mistakes one never makes: an internal locus ensures an individual recognizes results as under their control so they can figure out how to course correct, instead of being passive about events and expecting others or fate to make their worlds align next time. 


2. One way to tell learning dispositions in an individual is through their verbal behavior, by listening for the ratio of questions asked to active listening to declarative statements made.  People that have learning dispositions will ask more questions and actively listen more for answers.  Non learners (or obedient subordinates and sycophants) will make mostly statements.

My friend's father said it best when he was asked why he was mostly quiet in conversations, 

"I can't learn anything while I'm talking."

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