In an article on Google website Julia Rozovsky, a People Operations, Analytics and HR Strategy Leader at Google wrote (circa 2015) about the 5 keys to a successful team at Google. They set out to examine what makes Google team effective. This research was conducted over two years, 200 interviews, 250 attributes and 180+ google teams. I share this statistics to assure that the outcome has some solid basis.
The key to the finding is this : a star studded team (read Highly qualified PhD’s and Rhodes scholars etc) does not guarantee success. Far from it. It is more about interaction, mutual respect and structure.
The five key factors they unearthed (and you can use this as a benchmark to measure your own teams effectiveness) are:
- Psychological Safety : This fuels the ability to take risks without rebuke.
- Dependability – Ability to count on each other.
- Structure and Clarity – About Goals, Roles and Execution plans ( I can see where the OKR framework kicks in effectively)
- Meaningful work – Does the work resonate at a personal level?
- Impact of work – Does the work fundamentally matter.
The first attribute was the most crucial according to the authors of the report as the confidence of taking risk, asking for clarity or goal setting came from this one factor. Self preservation is natural in the workplace environment but the study found that “the safer team members feel with one another, the more likely they are to admit mistakes, to partner, and to take on new roles…. they are more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they bring in more revenue, ..”
They created a tool (the gTeams exercise) to check the status of these five factors and generate a report for each team which resulted in impressive uptakes on multiple parameters.
How can you use this to help your teams improve?
Link to the article here : The five keys to a successful Google team https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/