You know when a team clicks. Designers complete each other’s sentences. Team members engage in critique frequently, and relish the input into their work. People build on each other’s ideas in productive ways. Everyone feels invested in their project outcomes.
This doesn’t happen through mere serendipity, especially when working with teams that have multidisciplinary participants working across multiple physical locations. You may be collaborating deeply with stakeholders across corporate silos, as well as involving users as part of the design process. Creating cohesive, high-performing teams requires not just talented people, but also the right structures to support them as they strive to achieve their goals. How can a manager or leader understand where these structures fit as part of their day-to-day workflow, and provide the necessary support to make creative work happen?
The above slide deck is from my talk “Creating Creative Superteams,” which I presented at HOW Design Live 2014 as part of their In-House Design Managers Conference. In this talk, I explored the different tools I use to empower indivdiuals and teams in today’s complex work environments. Some of these tools are drawn from psychology and social science, and were devised by Bruce Tuckman and David Kantor. Other tools are adapted from agile/scrum work processes, with a few new tricks thrown in from what I’ve learned from leading teams at frog.
Please drop me a note at david at changeorderblog dot com and let me know if you try out any of these techniques—I’d love to hear how they work for you and your teams!
P.S. As a warm up at the start of the talk, I asked the 600 attendees to perform the solo to "Beat It" as the world's largest all-designer air guitar ensemble. This is what they did: