Teams do not exist

As a leader in an organisation, thinking of teams as a single concrete entity leads to cognitive biases and blind spots that can prevent us choosing options that get the results we and the people in our teams would like to achieve

Teams do not exist.

You cannot talk to a team. You cannot ask a team a question. Teams have no feelings or goals.

But but but…favourite soccer team, my team!

Sorry. They don’t exist.

Where a team can be observed, what you are actually seeing is:

  • Each individual’s behaviours,
  • in emergent response to what is going on around them,
  • as processed through their archetype of what a team should be
  • with their latest individual mental model of what their team currently is, and
  • their individual role and purpose relative to the team at the given moment.

Protip: Stop talking to your teams. Start talking to your people.


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