The Givers Take it All – the importance of helping in teams


There is this interesting research story in a recent McKinsey Quarterly issue about what drives a teams’ effectiveness.

After 9/11 a team of psychologists did research in the US intelligence system finding the most effective units and drawing up a list of effectiveness determinants. The single strongest predictor of team effectiveness wasn’t a clear, challenging vision, it wasn’t well-defined roles and responsibilities, or appropriate rewards, recognition, resources, or strong leadership….

No, it was the amount of help team members provided to one another…. the most effective teams invested much more time and energy in coaching, teaching and consulting each other.

There are three types of team cultures:

  1. A Giver Culture  (team members help, share, offer mentoring, and make connections) leads highest effectiveness
  2. A Taker Culture  (team members get as much as possible) leads to lowest effectiveness
  3. A Matcher Culture  (team members help those who help them) leads to average effectiveness

What type of culture do you observe in the teams in your organisation?

You can turn this around by introducing new practices…

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