Me > We?

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Are teams inherently more, or less productive than individuals? And, is there a way to structure teamwork so that it’s less cumbersome?

In this episode, we dive into the fascinating story of Philo Farnsworth, the farm boy who revolutionized the world with the invention of electronic television. Despite his humble beginnings and the lack of formal education, Farnsworth’s vision and determination enabled him to outpace corporate giants like RCA, proving the power of individual ingenuity. However, this story sparks an important question: do individuals achieve more than teams, or is there a way for teams to function as highly effective, innovative units?

We explore this with our guest, David Allen, author of the international bestseller “Getting Things Done” and the new book “Team.” David discusses the gap between individual and team productivity and outlines core practices from his book that can help teams function more effectively. These practices include capturing what has the team’s collective attention, clarifying and organizing actionable steps, reflecting on progress, and engaging effectively.

Key Learnings:

  1. Capture Team Focus: Identifying what captures a team’s attention helps bring crucial, non-routine issues into focus.
  2. Clarification and Context: Clarifying captured points to understand their importance and context ensures the team is aligned on priorities.
  3. Organize Information: Having structured methods to organize and store team data and tasks ensures accessibility and streamlined workflow.
  4. Reflect Regularly: Periodic reflection, such as daily stand-ups or annual reviews, ensures the team remains current with objectives and progress.
  5. Engage Purposefully: Combining these steps allows teams to engage with purpose, rather than reacting to immediate pressures, thus making more informed and strategic decisions.
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