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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 10 2011

Setting Up for Successful Collaboration

So I was reading this Harvard Business Review blog post on the Six Common Misperceptions About Teamwork and this immediately popped out to me:

The hands-on activities of group leaders do make a difference. But the most powerful thing a leader can do to foster effective collaboration is to create conditions that help members competently manage themselves. The second most powerful thing is to launch the team well. And then, third, is the hands-on teaching and coaching that leaders do after the work is underway. Our research suggests that condition-creating accounts for about 60% of the variation in how well a team eventually performs; that the quality of the team launch accounts for another 30%; and that real-time coaching accounts for only about 10%.

Well, shoot, if real-time coaching accounts for only about 10% of the success of a team, then when I embark on my journey of teaching everything through authentic, collaborative, projects, I’d better plan everything ridiculously well so that the conditions for my students’ successful teamwork are there. Challenge is, how do I know how successful my planning is until after I’ve implemented the project?

One of my goals, then, this summer, is not only to learn about how to plan projects, but also to put in a place a plan to reflect on each project so that I become better and better at being that condition-setting leader.

Originally posted on Setting Up for Successful Collaboration on Science Never Sucks, a blog.

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