Team building or team work? Team building is a bit of a strange idea. Think of the great sports teams or project teams of all time, did they do “trust falls” or high ropes courses for team building? Great teams form when good people learn to work together, to trust each other, and have an environment where people can learn and grow into a great team.
“OK, what are the top 10 books on team building?”
How many books do you need? If I recommended 10, how many would you read? How many work related books did you read last month or last year?
I would recommend starting with 1 video based on a TED talk by Daniel Pink.
Then read the book that the video is based on so its points sink in.
Then read up on one framework/model for thinking about team formation:
A recent article on teamwork covers some of the challenges of modern team work where team members maybe dispersed (its OK, has some good examples)
and finally this classic book by Richard Hackman on leading teams, that while a bit dated supports many of the ideas presented above.
Richard Hackman, one of the world’s leading experts on group and organizational behavior, argues that teams perform at their best when leaders create conditions that allow them to manage themselves effectively. Leading Teams is not about subscribing to a specific formula or leadership style, says Hackman. Rather, it is about applying a concise set of guiding principles to each unique group situation–and doing so in the leader’s own idiosyncratic way. Based on extensive research and using compelling examples ranging from orchestras to airline cockpit crews, Leading Teams identifies five essential conditions–a stable team, a clear and engaging direction, an enabling team structure, a supportive organizational context, and the availability of competent coaching–that greatly enhance the likelihood of team success. The book offers a practical framework that leaders can use to muster personal skills and organizational resources to create and sustain the five key conditions and shows how those conditions can launch a team onto a trajectory of increasing effectiveness. Authoritative and astutely realistic, Leading Teams offers a new and provocative way of thinking about and leading work teams in any organizational setting.
…then there is how not to do it: TEAM TEAM TEAM from IT Crowd.
Use those as jumping off points to additional learning.
Finally, none of this matters if you do not have the environment for effective team to arise. For that you should use Scrum, a team based framework for doing the most important work first, in short cycles, and using feedback (retrospectives) to continually improve the environment and the team.