The Prisoners Dilemma, Trust, Cooperation and Effective Teams

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I have been reading Lord Sacks daily thoughts “Celebrating Life” and was impressed by his piece on “The Prisoners Dilemma”. The Dilemma in a nutshell is that 2 prisoners are given the chance to do a deal and betray each other. If you want more background I have written about the dilemma previously and it also features heavily in my new book.
Lord Sacks is the UK’s chief Rabbi
and highlights one vital aspect of the dilemma which I had not previously paid enough attention to – the fact that the two prisoners are not allowed to speak to each other!

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High Performing Teams Video Course launched by Ken Thompson

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High Performing Teams and High Performing Virtual Teams are topics very close to the heart of almost every leader irrespective of the size of their organization.

In this new course Ken Thompson blends material from his four books on teams into a modern and totally up-to-date course on how to successfully build and sustain High Performing Teams in today’s virtual 24×7 world.

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The Superintelligent Organization: create total competitive advantage?

I have been studying one of the most highly regarded books on the future of AI (Artificial Intelligence), “Superintelligence – paths, dangers, strategies” by Nick Bostrom. Bostrom meticulously reviews the five most likely paths to “superintelligence” which he defines “as any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of (individual) humans in virtually all domains of interest.” One of Bostrom’s conclusions is totally unexpected and requires immediate consideration within today’s major organizations and enterprises!

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A Systematic Guide to Collaboration and Competition within Organizations

I am delighted to announce my new book “A Systematic Guide to Collaboration and Competition within Organizations” which is currently available at a special launch price of £5 for the paperback and £0.99 for the kindle version.

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Launch Offer: Get Ken Thompson’s 4 Systematic Guides for the price of 1

To celebrate the official launch of my Systematic Guides to Management and Leadership, for a very limited period I am discounting each of the 4 books by 75% off their retail price of £15 (or dollar/euro equivalent).

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The Huffington Post: Biohacking the Organization

An excellent article on Bioteams by Doug Kirkpatrick, US Partner at NuFocus Strategic Group concludes: “The power and elegance of bioteaming is indisputable. Whether organizational leaders will detach themselves from the perceived security blanket of traditional, artificial hierarchy in order to fully experience that power is another question entirely?”

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How good is your team? Try the Team Pressure Cooker Exercise!

Sometimes teams can become quite blind towards some very obvious improvements to their performance. There may be huge elephants in the team room which have somehow become camouflaged. Here is a short team exercise to quickly highlight big improvement opportunities by putting the team into an imaginary pressure cooker.

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How good a team leader are you? Try my Team Leadership Assessment!

As a team leader you have two distinct leadership responsibilities – Managing the Individuals and Managing the Team. Leaders who fixate on managing the individuals tend to have happy teams which unfortunately under-perform in terms of deadlines, quality, customer satisfaction and budgets! Leaders who obsess on managing the team may hit most of these targets but at the expense of team member Alienation, Burnout, Compliance, Disinterest and eventually Exiting (easy to remember – ABCDE!). Great Team Leaders manage both responsibilities. Here is a simple framework with a nice supporting spreadsheet to help you assess and improve your leadership:

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Free High Performing Teams Instant Healthcheck Tool Spreadsheet

An important free tool which I provide with my new book ‘A Systematic Guide to High Performing Teams‘ is a Team Process Health Check Spreadsheet written in Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet allows you to rapidly assess each of 16 important team process elements on a scale of 0-3 ranging from ‘totally absent’ to ‘present and effective’.

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The evolution of effective team working and how you can accelerate it!

By observing newly formed and existing teams playing business simulations I have learned some important insights into how team-working ‘evolves’ and offer here some specific ideas on how you might accelerate this evolution in your own organizational teams.
On the road to Effective Team Collaboration there seems to be two intermediate phases of ‘naïve collaboration’ which many teams seem to go through – Hyper-Communication and Over-Delegation.
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