Teamwork: learning from dolphin pods

The seven habits of highly effective dolphins.
According to a excellent site dedicated to Dolphins at Western Illinois University (Illinois) Dolphin social behavior is one of the most complex and advanced in the animal kingdom and offers us a number of insights into effective bioteaming.

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Natures four teamwork systems

What is Teamwork? Although there are many different definitions, in nature the definition of ‘teamwork’ is very precise. There are four different types of “teamwork” in biological teams: Solowork, Crowdwork, Groupwork and Teamwork itself. A bioteam knows how and when to use all four forms – the choice depends on the specific task at hand.

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The maximum team size for effective working

Your teams are too big: break them up.
Newspapers sometimes run contests to see who can produce the best summary of a epic book in one hundred words or less. Here is my 100-word version of “The maximum team size for effective working” drawing from an excellent article by Christopher Allen entitled The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes.

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Customer collaboration: exploiting the Hawthorne Effect

Way back in the 1930’s researchers from Harvard Business School were running employee feedback research on various proposed innovations in their working conditions on behalf of the telecoms giant Western Electric (now Lucent). The results were quite amazing: they had discovered the Hawthorne Effect.

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Dysfunctional teams: bioteam them

There are many ways to analyse dysfunctional teams in organisations such as deficiencies in trust, absence of shared objectives, poor co-operative working practices or inappropriate leadership styles/models. However taking a purely biological perspective opens up exciting new possibilities for really transforming these teams performance.

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