Secrets of Extreme Teams uncovered

Secrets of Extreme Teams uncovered


Teamwork, team building, and team leadership are training programmes that trainers love to deliver. They take a group of people off to a nice hotel and spend a couple of days explaining how they can be nicer to each other. It’s the traditional approach to ensuring that groups of people with very little in common other than a career and a place of work can form a productive team. Sometimes it works, but all too often the impact is short lived, perhaps because when the new team returns to the work place what they have learnt about being a team slips down the list of priorities and emphasis is placed on targets and individual actions.

The evidence is clear that organisations that work as a team are generally more productive than those that have a more individual culture, but many organisations of regardless of size, type, or location struggle to build what can be a business-critical competence.

Robert Bruce Shaw decided the best way to solve the conundrum would be to examine how seven successful businesses from different industries in different parts of the world approached building their teams and the impact that their success in that one area impacted their overall success.

These “cutting-edge” companies included

  • Airbnb,
  • Alibaba,
  • Netflix,
  • Patagonia,
  • Pixar,
  • Whole Foods and
  • Zappos.

Robert Bruce Shaw in his book Extreme Teams identifies the behaviours and mind-sets that set theses business apart from the competition and investigates how other companies can identify and promote their own unique behaviours and mind-sets and use them to build high performing teams and drive success.

He identifies the organisations that he looks at share a mission-driven approach to their work. They recognise that it isn’t all wine and roses, in any successful relationship there will be times when people disagree. Instead of trying to avoid these times these companies try to use them to create improvements.

Whilst many organisations try to find new employees who have the experience to be able to hit the road running on their first day, organisations with extreme teams place more value on cultural fit rather than skills, knowledge or experience. These things can, after all, be taught, with culture fit or attitude you, you either have it or you don’t!

Rather than just recording observations about these extreme team organisation Robert Bruce Shaw provides a guide that is full of practical tools that are supported by useful anecdotes and insights that will help you identify how you can move your team performance into the extreme quadrant.

In the free summary of Extreme Teams, by Robert Bruce Shaw available from the Work Place Learning Centre you will learn:

  • How to implement “five practices” that can help your teams excel,
  • What traits strong corporate cultures have in common and
  • Why recruiters should look for candidates who are the best “cultural fit” with their organization.

You can get your free summary of Extreme Teams, by Robert Bruce Shaw at this link

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During a career as a human resources and employee development professional that started in 1981 Michael Millward has worked around the world in a wide range of businesses from start-ups to major conglomerates. His industry experience includes, local and national government, manufacturing, financial services, retail, distribution, hi-tech, e-commerce.

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