Malcolm Dawes and reporter Amber Sherlock discuss the 10 things that managers often attempt to do in order to get to get teams to work together harmoniously but which always fail.
Amber: What would you like some of the big ideas that you would like your readers to take away from this book?
Malcolm: Well I think the book looks at 10 myths. Things that managers, and I’ve been a manager of people myself, and made the same mistakes. It’s the 10 things that we try and do to get teams to work together, which fail. A quick example would be a lot of managers think, let’s get the team to work together. We want them to collaborate and to work with each other. So we’ll take them 10-pin bowling. So everybody goes 10-pin bowling. And of course if you’ve played 10-pin bowling yourself, it’s a competitive game. So they put the team on different lanes and of course the teams are shouting at each other, “we’re going to beat you.” So how does that actually bring people together?
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t play 10-pin bowling as a good team building exercise, but it’s not an exercise which gets people to understand each other. So really the key message is how do people in an organisation, in a team, whether that’s the senior management team or a functional operational team, how do they understand each other? What can we do to work more effectively together? So the book focuses on what not to do and really therefore what should you do? And that is about having people who collaborate, understand how to communicate, know how to deal with conflict and confrontation in the workplace and how to have a culture of feedback in an organisation or a team.