‘The research behind high-performing teams and how to lead them in schools’ – my researchED talk

Teams are fascinating to me, perhaps because I spent a chunk of my early career dismissing the value of teamwork. Inefficient. Unproductive. Too many voices. Then, as I began to lead teams, from an English department, to a tutor team, to a learning and teaching team, and many others, I began to revise this view.Continue reading “‘The research behind high-performing teams and how to lead them in schools’ – my researchED talk”

researchED Surrey 2022 – reflections

On Saturday 8th October 2022, the sun shone gloriously across Surrey, thus enabling both a beautiful day for researchED-ers from across the country, and me the chance to open this blog post in clichéd fashion. The sun merely acted as a symbol for the energy and optimism of the hundreds of people who gathered atContinue reading “researchED Surrey 2022 – reflections”

Thriving Teams #9: Team Mental Models

Some teams work together in intense, high-pressure situations. Military teams may face perilous situations as part of their day-to-day working life; medical teams have lives in their hands and must treat each one with the same level of care and expertise. For these teams, having a shared knowledge and language of what must be done,Continue reading “Thriving Teams #9: Team Mental Models”

Thriving Teams #7: Team Conflict

A study from the University of South Wales, quoted in Daniel Coyle’s The Culture Code, revealed the startling impact that a ‘bad apple’ can have on a group. In a team activity, someone was planted, unknown to the rest of the group, with the mission of disrupting the team. The plant would undermine people’s ideas,Continue reading “Thriving Teams #7: Team Conflict”

Thriving Teams #6: The FA/UEFA Pro Licence and High-Performing Teams

‘Andy, I’m a big palace fan, well done mate’. I’d just arrived at St George’s Park, and got out of my small Hyundai alongside the Range Rover of Andy Johnson, a Crystal Palace legend and one of my all-time favourite players. He politely said ‘Thanks, mate’ in return, got in the car, and left myContinue reading “Thriving Teams #6: The FA/UEFA Pro Licence and High-Performing Teams”

Thriving Teams #5: Team Communication

Mother Theresa once said “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”, and there is a lot to unpack there, both on relational and spiritual levels. The ideal model for a team is just that: doing great things together, and being more than a sumContinue reading “Thriving Teams #5: Team Communication”

Thriving Teams #4: Team Debriefs

Watching footage of post-game team talks by football managers always fascinated me, on the rare occasions when the cameras were allowed into the changing room. Sometimes it was dominated by cheering and roaring champagne as a team progressed to the next round of a cup; other times, a Neil Warnock-esque manager would be snarling andContinue reading “Thriving Teams #4: Team Debriefs”

Thriving Teams #3: Psychological Safety

It can be difficult to define what makes someone feel confident or at ease within their team. Some argue that a happy team is a productive team, while others say the opposite is true. In my years’ long pursuit of staff wellbeing and satisfaction, I’ve often leant towards autonomy, trust, and opportunities to collaborate asContinue reading “Thriving Teams #3: Psychological Safety”

Thriving Teams #2: Purpose and Goals

Every organisation has a purpose: a sense of why it exists and what it serves through that existence. For schools, this is perhaps obvious. The school exists to serve its children: to keep them safe, to help them to learn, to gain the best qualifications possible, and to prepare them for the world (add othersContinue reading Thriving Teams #2: Purpose and Goals

Thriving Teams #1: What is a team?

Each of us belongs to a number of teams, depending on your definition. A family. A sports team. A volunteer group. And, at work, you could be a member of several teams. Each team has its own purpose, dynamic, and tasks; each team’s success may be measured differently. Some of our teams may be healthy,Continue reading “Thriving Teams #1: What is a team?”