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There’s Teams That Work - And There’s Teams That Don’t.

The nature of what I do finds me working (all be it remotely) with different teams. Turns out that different teams - are different kinds of teams.

The Three Teams

[1] There’s a team that has been building itself up over the course of a number of years. Not everybody knows everybody else. The idea is coming together. Dialogue and discourse is open and transparent. There is respect for what people are trying to do. This idea stands a good chance of coming to fruition. The right questions are being asked. Different skills and knowledge is being brought to bear. The ‘leader’ of this team knows what they know and knows what they don’t. What they don’t, they seek to complete through introducing new people into the ‘Gladwell Distribution’.

[2] A second team has members who have known each other for a while, but have only recently come together to form the company that they all thought that they wanted. But what is that company? What is the ‘raison d’être’? They each have different answers. They all want this to work. They have a good sprinkling distributed across the Galdwell circles (the best of the three actually), yet this is the team that is most likely to lose. This is down to leadership. Theoretically, all on the team are equal, but there is an ‘alpha’ in the mix. They know what they know and have no recogniton that there are unknowns. Team members aren’t allowed to bring their best to the party. Instead they are pulled down and villified for stepping outside of the box.

[3] And then finally there is the team that barely know each other, but came together because of a shared idea. There hasn’t been a full ‘Gladwell Distribution’ to focus on the problem at hand. Specifically, the team is strong on domain and network but has zero Sales. The leader has recently recognized this … so lets now see what happens.


Team [1] stands A Great chance of taking off and doing something real, different and meaningful.

Team [2] has the most tangible offer, and might well get going, simply because it is an easy concept and there is a need. BUT, it will not deliver on its full potential if the alpha is allowed to continue unchecked.

Team [3] is least likely to succeed because they lack ‘Sales’ in the Gladwell Distribution. Period. It is now understood. Then there is a lot of work in front of them to convince others what they personally know and hold true.


The Gladwell DistributionThe Gladwell Distribution
Known Knows to Unknown UnknownsKnown Knows to Unknown Unknowns
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