Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

Katzenbach and Smith: The Wisdom of Teams

The Wisdom of Teams by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith is a true classic among Twentieth Century business books. It uncovers the wisdom of what teams can achieve, and how they can perform at their best.

Watching this video is worth 3 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 4.3.7
Program 4: Managing & Leading Groups
Course 3: Teams
Section 7: Masters of Teams

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Meredith Belbin: The Belbin Team Roles Profile
🔗 https://youtu.be/70MJFW9btoI
🎬 Margerison McCann: The Team Management Wheel
🔗 https://youtu.be/y61b0S8aCi0
🎬 Patrick Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/xlDy-14T9Rg

‘The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization’ (https://geni.us/7i1AL) by Jon R Katzenbach and Douglas K Smith, was first published in 1993, and remains in print over 25 years later.

This is not just a reflection of the timeless appeal of its subject matter. It also reflects the quality and depth of the research and thinking that pervade it.

Katzenbach and Smith describe their findings as both common sense and uncommon sense. Real team stories show not just the obvious truths, but the subtle complexities too. Perhaps the biggest idea of the Wisdom of Teams is that there is no one Big Idea, but many smaller big ideas.

Why do we Need Teams?
Teams have the potential to deliver results that go beyond what individuals can achieve alone.
The first sentence of the introduction to Part One seems to sum this up nicely:

‘Teams outperform individuals acting alone or in larger organizational groupings, especially when performance requires multiple skills, judgments, and experiences.’

Teams also offer benefits beyond the performance of their set tasks:
• development of individual members,
• enhanced organizational culture,
• solving challenging problems, and
• taking robust decisions.

So, What is a Team?
Katzenbach and Smith’s definition of a team has become a standard:

‘A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.’

This encompasses three necessary conditions for a team:
• Accountability and Skills yield performance results
• Commitment and accountability lead to personal growth
• Skills and commitment create collective work products

The Evolution of Teams
Katzenbach and Smith show a five-stage evolution from a working group to a high-performance team.
1. Working Group
2. Pseudo-team
3. Potential Team
4. Real Team
5. High-performance Team

How to Build a High Performing Team
Here are some of my favorite ideas from The Wisdom of Teams, for how to build a High Performing Team.
– Challenge and Success are the Strongest Motivators
– It’s a strong performance ethic that drives team performance, rather than a team ethic.
– Individualism need not get in the way of team performance.

Top-Team: A Contradiction?
Teams at the top of an organization are the hardest to make work.
The solutions include:
• Division into smaller teams
• A collegiate atmosphere
• Subordinating self-interest

Skills not Personalities
Perhaps a surprising finding is that personality has little importance in creating a team dynamic. Skills mix is more important.

1. Thinking about Katzenbach & Smith’s five-stage evolution from a working group to a high-performance team, where is your current team? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Using the ideas in this video and in other videos from this series, what are some of the things you could do to move your team towards a High-performing Team state? (4 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– The Wisdom of Teams https://geni.us/7i1AL

Managers need a basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it at: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 3 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 9 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#MastersOfTeams #ManagementCourses #WisdomOfTeams


Team Leadership Briefing [Compilation]
Team Development Process [Compilation]
Managing & Leading Remote Teams [Compilation]
Patrick Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Margerison McCann: The Team Management Wheel
Meredith Belbin: The Belbin Team Roles Profile
Taking Care of the Wellbeing of People in Your Remote Team
Developing People in Your Remote Team
Getting Sufficient Challenge in Your Remote Team
Maintaining Productivity in Your Remote Team
Fostering Responsibility within Your Remote Team
Crafting Connection and Building Culture in Your Remote Team
Helping Build Understanding in Your Remote Team
Creating Trust in Remote Teams
Introduction to Managing Remote Teams
Tips for Cross-Cultural Working: 10 + 1 Bonus
Dimensions of Cross-Cultural Differences: 10 of the Biggest
Developing Cross-Cultural Awareness: The Stages
Introduction to Cross-Cultural Teams
How to Support Your Team for Learning: 7 Things
Supporting Your Team through Conflict: 3+1 Roles to Play
How to Support Your Team through Change – 6 Steps
Supporting Your Team through Team Stress: 4 Steps
Supporting Your Team Under Pressure: Return to High-Performance
Team Leadership: Handling Team Problems
Daniel Goleman’s 6 Leadership Styles for Team Leaders
Team Leadership Continuum [Tannenbaum & Schmidt]
Four Quadrants of Team Leadership
LEAD Your Team: 4 Team Leadership Priorities
Team Leadership: John Adair’s Action Centered Leadership
Servant Leadership: Leading Your Team in the Tuckman Performing Stage
Team Leadership and the Tuckman Group Development Stages
Teamwork: Your Team Working Problems Solved
Teamwork: Problem Solving with Your Team
Teamwork: Team Celebrations
Teamwork: Leading Effective Team Reviews
Teamwork: Elements of Effective Team Meetings
Teamwork: Your Team’s Skills and Expertise
Teamwork: Facilitating Effective Team Working
Teamwork: Protecting Your Team
Teamwork: Providing for Your Team
Teamwork: Essentials of Working as a Team
Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases for Team Development
The Drexler-Sibbet Team Performance Model
Cog’s Ladder of Group Experiences – Team Development

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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