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The No. 1 Myth About Building Teams

Four years ago I went to a lecture that shattered everything I thought I knew about teams. In the lecture Richard Hackman, who was probably the top teams researcher who ever lived, told a story about how he was teaching a class at Yale on the four stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing. Half way through that presentation a young lady in the front row raised her hand and said, “Excuse me Professor Hackman, that’s wrong.”

Now it was Hackman’s chance to say “Excuse me?”

“I’ve had years of experience in workplace teams” she replied “and they don’t go through those stages.”

Hackman said he said what all good, condescending, Ivy League professors say in such situations, “Well you’ll have to go out and do the research to prove it wrong then”.

Which to Hackman and everyone else’s surprise, she did.

To hear what she discovered (which is obvious, but only in hindsight ) watch the 3 minute video above. You’ll enjoy it!

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  • Alexander Smith

    Cripes, can’t wait to hear the next instalment ! feeling a little foolish now having used the Tuckman language for quite a while, but a reality check offers some new learning… bring it on Nick.

    • supervisor

      I know the feeling Alexander. I felt the same way when I heard as well. The book ‘Thinking fast and slow’ has a great section on how phrases that rhyme sound more convincing than once that don’t even when they are not true. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’. Does it really though?

  • Nick Petrie

    I felt the same way Alexander. The book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ has a great section on how phrases that rhyme sound more convincing than ones that don’t. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’. But does it actually?