The Science Behind Team Design

Our vision was to have everyone working in a squad within the next three months, which meant finding the best way to run a squadification process—the term we came up with to describe the process whereby people select who is going to be part of which squad.

We started looking into the science behind the design of teams, which some research suggests is the most important factor in overall team performance. Studies conducted by J. Richard Hackman,[4] for example, found 60% of the variation in team effectiveness is attributable to the design of the team, 30% to the way the team is launched, and 10% to leader coaching once the team is under way.

This is certainly consistent with our own observations: we’ve seen more ...

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