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2014-05-21    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Some of the best performing corporations and institutions are those that encourage and enable teamwork—in the C-suite, within groups and across divisions. The secret to a great team is not simply about having the most experienced or smartest people on board. Here are 5 ways to build a top-performing team:

• Push for casual conversations-- not necessarily meetings
• 努力推广随意性的交流——会议未必有用

To boost collaboration at her Los Angeles skincare company Beautycounter, CEO Gregg Renfrew encourages her five-person executive team to spend more time talking one-on-one with each other—whether it's a five-minute desk-side conversation or grabbing a cup of coffee. She tries to limit the number of people in conversations, avoid lengthy emails, scheduling phone calls and long formal meetings. Instead, she opts for quick stand-ups and group huddles.

It's an about-face from her early days, when she found herself booked in meetings all day. Now, her team can be far more collaborative and gets far more done.

"It helps us stay in sync," she says. "You can be decisive, you can be nimble, and you don't get caught up in red tape."

Good communication is standard teamwork rhetoric. But casual conversations throughout the day can be vital to top-performing teams, according to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Using badges with sensors that capture body language, gestures and tone of voice at people at dozens of companies, MIT researchers could predict with eerie precision a team's performance based on the pattern of communication. The worst performing teams sat in more meetings, had a dominant team member or people who talked or listened but did not do both.
良好的沟通是涉及团队合作的标准说辞。但麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)的研究人员发现,在全部工作时间内,鼓励随意的对话对于打造优秀团队至关重要。麻省理工的研究人员使用带有传感器的徽章,在数十家公司捕捉人们的肢体语言、手势和语调。结果,研究人员可以根据沟通方式,非常准确地预测出一个团队的绩效。表现最差的团队花更多时间坐在一起开会,团队中有一位占主导地位的成员,或者人们只是在说或听,却无法两者兼顾。

In fact, those informal conversations in the hallways or the break room may be even more important to team productivity than team members' IQ, skill or experience, says MIT professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland.

Great teams don't just talk amongst themselves either, he found. The more creative groups talked to people outside their own group—a lot. Yet it's something most people forget to do. "The org chart says you talk to these six people," says Pentland. "If you only do that then you get stuck with the same ideas going around and around again instead of new ideas."

• Throw out the hierarchy
• 抛弃等级制度

While most leaders think they must do the talking and set the agenda, teams really need them to be facilitators, bringing out the contributions of everyone, says Anita Woolley, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher who has studied teamwork. The best teams may be those that, to an outsider, it's not entirely clear who is in charge. In fact, some teams need no leader at all.
卡耐基梅隆大学(Carnegie Mellon University)的团队合作研究员安妮塔•伍利表示,虽然大多数领导者认为他们应该负责发号施令和制定议程,但实际上,团队需要他们作为促进者,挖掘所有团队成员的潜力。最优秀的团队在外人看来可能并没有明确的负责人。事实上,许多团队根本不需要领导者。

Just look at the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York. For 40 years, the orchestra has worked in concert—literally –without a conductor. All of the 34 musicians get to make suggestions on what is played, how it is played, who can join the orchestra, and where and when they tour.
纽约的俄耳甫斯室内乐团(Orpheus Chamber Orchestra)就是一个例子。40年来,这个乐团举行音乐会从来不用乐队指挥。对于演奏曲目、演奏方式、加入乐团的人选以及巡回演出的地点和时间等问题,乐团的34位音乐家可以各抒己见。

"Putting on a concert is nothing more than managing a short-term project," says Krishna Thiagarajan, the orchestra's executive director, whose role is akin to a band manager.

The group selects a core group to oversee practice and performance for each music selection and elects three artistic directors for three-year terms. Anyone can give input and peers judge job performance.

Not every decision is a consensus, says Thiagarajan. But Orpheus has the highest job satisfaction of any professional orchestra and has catapulted to become one of the best in the world, delivering what Thiagarajan calls unique, "spirited" performances.

"You can see them breathing together, anticipating each other and working together as a team," he says. "It's a huge rush."

• Seek out non-traditional diversity
• 寻求非传统的多样化

When P.J. Pereira puts together teams for his San Francisco ad agency Pereira & O'Dell, he looks for diversity that goes beyond gender and race. He hires people based on their personal backgrounds. He has hired a wine industry veteran, a music producer, a Hollywood screenwriter – even a baker-turned-shark-wrestler. By combining different perspectives in one room, the team usually finds unexpected connections and original ideas. The combination has led to award-winning campaigns for Pereira & Dell and helped to land notable clients like Airbnb, Intel (INTC) and Skype. "The simplest way to help a company think outside the box," says Pereira, "is to bring in people who have lived in different boxes."
P.J.佩雷拉在旧金山为自己的广告公司Pereira & O'Dell招募员工时注重的是超越性别与种族的多样化。他招聘的依据是求职者的个人背景。他曾聘用过一位酿酒行业的资深人士、一位音乐制作人、一位好莱坞编剧,甚至还有一位曾经做过面包师的捕鲨手。通过将不同观点融为一炉,这个团队往往能够找出意想不到的联系,诞生各种新颖的创意。这种组合为Pereira & Dell制作出许多优秀广告作品,帮助公司赢得了许多大牌客户,如租房服务网站Airbnb、英特尔(Intel)和Skype等。佩雷拉说道:“帮助一家公司最简单的方法便是跳出固有思维模式,召集一批有着不同生活经历的人。”

Pereira's philosophy is backed by new research popping up around the idea of "thought diversity," showing that teams of people with various backgrounds and cognitive styles are more willing to share ideas, make better decisions and deliver more innovation. "It is turning up over and over again as being the key ingredient for allowing teams to solve tough problems," says Woolley.

• Be forthright
• 坦率

Harmony isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Teams suffer when the conversation is too polite, the debate muted and members don't challenge each other --or their leaders. That lack of candor will inevitably debilitate decision-making and create a politicized culture, where people only speak their minds in private.

"The No. 1 erosion to shareholder value is conflict avoidance," says Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of consulting firm Ferrazzi Greenlight. The firm studied 50 large companies and found the highest-performing teams were the most forthright.
咨询公司Ferrazzi Greenlight的CEO基斯•法拉奇说:“对股东价值影响最大的做法是回避冲突。”这家公司对50家大公司进行研究发现,绩效最高的团队同时也是最坦率的团队。

He advises many large clients to appoint a team member to be a "Yoda," inspired by the Star Wars character who will notice and speak up when something is left unsaid.
受到《星球大战》(Star Wars)的启发,他建议许多大客户任命一名团队成员担任“尤达大师”。尤达大师是《星球大战》中的角色,每当发现有些事情没有说破的时候,他都会直言不讳地说出来。

One client, former Thomson-Reuters (TRI) CEO Devin Wenig, worked to make his executive team more candid, following the company's 2008 merger. He started team meetings with personal check-ins and hosted dinners where teams share stories about past personal challenges. The idea: when people get to know each other better, they're more likely to be honest about what they really think.
Ferrazzi Greenlight的一位客户是原汤姆森-路透(Thomson-Reuters)的CEO德文•维尼格。2008年公司合并之后,维尼格希望让高管团队变得更加坦率。他在开会时会采取个人签到的方式,还举行过宴会,让团队成员分享自己之前经历过的挑战。这种做法的出发点是:如果人们对彼此加深了解,他们便更有可能坦诚说出自己的真实想法。

Eventually, his team opened up and established an environment where they could call each other out—even criticizing Wenig himself. Wenig has gone on to use the same approach as president of eBay's global marketplaces (EBAY).

• Keep what works
• 保留行之有效的做法

Common wisdom might lead executives to believe it's a good thing to shake things up, perhaps rearranging individuals on teams or bringing in fresh faces. But those moves can actually hurt a team, says Woolley.

"If you have a high performing team, try to keep them together," says Wooley. "If you move someone you may actually destroy value."

Wooley points to a study by the Federal Aviation Administration that looked at major airline accidents between 1974 and 1990. The study found that 73% of errors occurred the first day of a first officer and a captain working together.
伍利提到了美国联邦航空管理局(Federal Aviation Administration)对1974年至1990年期间发生的大型空难进行的研究。研究发现,73%的空难都发生在副机师与机长一起工作的第一天。

It's not aviation science, but team continuity has paid off for the executive team at Whole Foods Market. (WFM) All seven executives have worked together for at least 18 years, something that co-CEO John Mackey compares to caring for a long marriage. Executives talk problems out and can even anticipate how one person will respond to an idea or a decision. "We're synced up and we flow along," he says.
这种现象并不属于航空学的范畴,但在全食超市(Whole Foods Market),高管团队的延续性给公司带来了回报。公司七名高管一起共事了至少18年,公司联席CEO约翰•麦基把这种关系比喻成经营一段漫长的婚姻。高管们会开诚布公地谈论问题,甚至能够预料到一个人对于一个创意或一项决定的反应。麦基说:“我们步调一致,共同进退。”(财富中文网)

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