Build Better Teams with Sam Falco

Podcast Ep. 120: Build Better Teams with Sam Falco

Build Better Teams with Sam Falco
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Episode Description:

Today, Dan Neumann and Sam Falco are exploring the topic of teams — and not just Scrum teams, but all teams.

As a leader, it can be difficult to manage many lines of communication — especially in larger teams. In Dan and Sam’s conversation, they discuss The Tuckman Model as a thinking framework on how to nurture high-performing teams. From forming to storming to norming and performing, The Tuckman Model lays out the manner in which a leader should engage with teams to become more effective than ever before.

Tune in for today’s episode to find out which strategies you can put into play right now to build, lead, and maintain better teams!

“A team has shared success or failure. One person can’t succeed [while] another person fails if you’re an actual team. You win or you lose together.” — Sam Falco

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Key Takeaways

  • What is a team?
    • A handful of people who are all working toward a common goal/objective and are collaborating/working together
    • A team has shared success and failure; you win or you lose together
  • Challenges with larger teams:
    • They tend to get siloed; i.e., a bunch of people are working individually or smaller teams are formed within the larger team and communication is lost
    • With a large group, even with the best intentions, someone gets left out (i.e. someone forgets to tell someone something or is unaware that someone hasn’t heard certain information yet)
    • Increments can be missed if you’re not collaborating and communicating as a team
  • How to (and how not to) form a team:
    • The best teams self-select (people with a stake in the project are much more motivated)
    • If you select random people and put them together in a team they may not function that well together
    • In “The Tuckman Model,” Bruce Tuckman suggests that you need four stages (form, storm, norm, and perform) to tackle tough problems and deliver results as a team
  • Leadership strategies for forming teams (Tuckman’s “forming” phase):
    • It’s important to create a shared vision once a team is formed and then actively move towards fostering connections through being vulnerable and demonstrating vulnerability through group formation activities
    • As a leader, it is your duty to pick the team with purpose; not availability
    • If you’re stuck in the “form” stage, it damages the ability of team members to form the connections that are necessary for teamwork
    • Make sure that the team develops a shared mental image of what their team is like (you could start with something as simple as picking a team name)
  • Leadership strategies for addressing conflict within teams (Tuckman’s “storming” phase):
    • Conflict is not inherently negative but many people have never experienced healthy conflict so it is important to look for ways to build trust
    • As a leader, you have to transition to a “coaching” role when your teams are in a storming phase by helping them develop mutual trust, navigate organizational impediments and conflict, and discussing team working agreements that you can refer to
    • Storming often happens when it is not clear how the team makes decisions (so it is important to find clarity on this early on)
    • Try out the “7 Levels in Delegation Poker Group” activity, linked below
  • Leadership strategies during a team’s “norming” phase
    • In this phase, teams identify common goals and work toward these common goals with standards and commitment
    • The leader’s role shifts more to empowering their team and getting feedback
    • In this phase, a leader should allow for leadership to emerge within the team (and not being the leader all the time)
    • It’s important to find the balance in contributing and knowing when to allow the team to get somewhere on their own
    • In this stage, it is crucial to maintain the trust that you built during the “forming” and “storming” phases
  • Leadership strategies during a team’s “performing” phase:
    • Once there’s trust and the team can engage in healthy conflict, it is important to focus on goals and new areas that will benefit the team and business
    • Once team members can hold each other accountable in a healthy way then you can established shared goals, make a commitment to these shared goals, and achieve these shared goals as a team
    • After accountability is established, improvement can be built upon that
  • Characteristics of a good leaders:
    • They help a team make their decisions
    • They help a team develop mutual trust
    • They identify what behaviors of the Tuckman Model the team is exhibiting and then appropriately engage with the team members
    • They consciously build their team and find techniques that work best with them

Mentioned in this Episode:


Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar.]

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to the Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. I’m your host Dan Neumann, and here with my fellow collaborators, Sam Falco.

Sam Falco: [00:24] How you doing? Jinx. Buy me a Coke.

Dan Neumann: [00:29] Uh, no, not going to happen. Okay.

Sam Falco: [00:31] All right.

Dan Neumann: [00:31]
Although if we were on a team, who would I?

Sam Falco: [00:34] I think you would.

Dan Neumann: [00:35] I think I’d be obligated. Speaking of teams. That was manufactured at best, but teams. Today’s episode is going to be exploring teams and, um, some good, some bad, not just Scrum teams with teams, period teams, period.

Sam Falco: [00:55] Yeah. I see. And you’ve seen it too. Team is applied to any random group of people who were working adjacent to one another. Oh, we have a team there’s like 50 people. They’re all working on their own thing. And maybe they chat about that in some gigantic call once a week. And that’s not really what we mean when we’re talking about teams in a work setting, we’re talking about a handful of people who are all working toward a common goal, common objective, they’re collaborating, they’re working together.

Dan Neumann: [01:31] And I could see some people think, well, yeah, but my 50 person group, we’ve got a common goal as well.

Sam Falco: [01:38]
Right. But then there’s are they collaborating? Are they communicating? Um, you’ve seen the diagram, our colleague, Quincy Jordan posted this on one of our internal channels where the lines of communication. So if you have three people, there are three lines of communication to maintain. You have four people, there are six, et cetera. And when you get up to beyond nine, actually around seven or eight, it starts looking like one of those spiral graph drawings from when you were a kid and it’s pretty. But the point is it’s really difficult to maintain a lot of lines of communication. So that 50 person quote, unquote team, they’re probably not acting as a team at best. They are forming little teams of their own and you’ve got a network of teams, but most likely what you’ve got is 50 people working in silos and occasionally looking up and telling someone else, Hey, I’m working on this thing that impacts the thing you’re working on.

Dan Neumann: [02:41]
And we can put a link to, we can put that image in the show notes that you were talking about or a, a representation of it. We can regenerate one, that’ll be prettier than what we found. And because it really does, as you add people, the numbers of communication channels grows exponentially. And of course, eventually that’s going to then fracture into smaller maybe teams or smaller groups.

Sam Falco: [03:05]
Right. With a large group, even with the best intentions, someone gets left out. Someone forgets to tell someone else, or is unaware that the other person hasn’t heard this information yet. We were, you know, as we were talking about right before we started recording social groups, you find out three people know something, and somebody else is completely unaware that an event is happening or we’re all going to go to this pub next week. Well, we forgot to tell Jerry and Jerry gets really ticked off when he doesn’t know or finds out later and there are hurt feelings when you’re talking in a workplace that happens even more frequently.

Dan Neumann: [03:51] I am part of a running group, uh, a pub running group. Um, I would never call it a team and one of the characteristics, and I forget who I first heard it from Esther Derby’s phrasing of it comes to mind for me is team has shared success and failure. One person can succeed and another person fail. If you’re an actual team you win or you lose together.

Sam Falco: [04:16] Yeah. I think that is when you really, I said, we said we weren’t going to specifically talk about Scrum teams. But when I have seen Scrum teams get it is when suddenly it’s not, the developers got their stuff done, but QA didn’t get it tested. And that’s why we don’t have an increment. And it goes from we as a group, didn’t get this done because some of us ran late on our tasks. We didn’t give QA enough time. And here’s what we are going to do all of us to make this better next time. Aha. Now we have a team. Now we have a group of actually functioning as a team, regardless of what we’ve been calling them before.

Dan Neumann: [04:55] And a non-Scrum example that comes to mind and it’s it’s, you know, companies can be teams, hopefully, you know, if you’ve got your developers and your marketing team and your support folks, all working together, you can’t launch a product in, not have any marketing to promote it. You can’t have people trying to get support for it and getting frustrated. It’s it’s indeed a whole team, uh, exercise, if you’re finger pointing when something goes wrong.

Sam Falco: [05:27] Exactly. So forming teams is it’s easy to just say, Hey, you, you, people are on a team that doesn’t make them engage in teamwork necessarily. Um, in a corporate setting or in a company setting, I guess the best teams I’ve seen self-select I want to be on that team. I want to work on that. Here’s a new project wants to be involved. You get some volunteers now they already have a stake in it because they’ve chosen them, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes you have to select a bunch of people and put them together. I’m also thinking about like military cohorts. When you go into basic. Now I wasn’t in the military, but I know plenty of people who have been. And when you go to basic training and you didn’t decide which squad you were going to be in, you are now with a bunch of people and the army, maybe all of the armed forces have very specific ways of forcing that group cohesion. And in a business setting, we also need to be aware that it’s not just throwing people together and saying, Tadda, you’re now a team and you’re all expected to work together. And that is where I believe Bruce Tuckman’s theory comes into play. Sometimes people refer to as the Tuckman model.

Dan Neumann: [06:55] And so, um, I know for awhile, I didn’t know what the hell people are talking about when they said Tuckman. So it’s that phrase form, storm, norm, perform. And it’s often talked about, you’re very linear. Okay, you’re going to forum and you can argue with each other for awhile, and then you’re going to do some stuff and they’re going to be amazing after awhile.

Sam Falco: [07:12] Right. And in theory, yes, Tuckman described this in the mid sixties, I think. And he said that all four of those phases are necessary for a team to get to tackling tough problems and delivering results. I don’t know if he said that they were inevitable, but they’re not some teams start at that forming stage. They start at storming or they get to storming where they’re, they’re starting to identify differences in complex and they never get out of it. Or they move back and forth. They awesomely between two of the phases or even three. And in some organizations, the sad fact is that the organization never gives them the chance to even get to storming because they’re constantly forming. They’re pulling people off the team, adding them, changing it up. There’s no stability. And so it really damages the ability of the people on those teams to form the connections that are necessary for true teamwork.

Dan Neumann: [08:25] So connections is part of that, and as teams are coming together, it’s, it’s not unusual for an organization to say, Hey, we have, um, these people that are available that that’s often where companies start. Right. Um, right. I, uh, uh, Laurie was one of my managers probably 20 years ago at this point. And I just, I loved the phrase she used, which was availability is not a skill. Because we would, we would have, we were professional services. We had to form teams out of people who were available, but they didn’t necessarily have the skill. So putting people together, selecting them as part of it, but then creating a shared vision, doing some things to foster those connections, whether it’s, uh, sharing a little bit exposing, um, a little bit of personal information, demonstrating a little bit of vulnerability through some group formation activities.

Sam Falco: [09:22] Right. And so your leadership strategies at this stage are going to be different than what you’re going to do later on. And I think that’s another, that’s another challenge is that often leaders have a particular set of skills and they don’t know how to get outside of them. And at the forming stage where we’re just setting the stage for what we expect of each other, getting to know one another, uh, building routines, right. Then people are just watching each other. They’re probably avoiding conflict because they don’t know anything about the people they’re there with. So as a leader, we need to pick the team with purpose, not just availability, as you said. So yes, you need, maybe on a team, you need a certain set of skills and you pick people for that skill set, but you also want to pay attention to personality types. Who’s going to work well with who rather than just, well, here is a Java developer and a QA engineer and a business analyst who all know this domain, let’s stick them together. But if the Java developers very prickly and your QA engineer is a warm and fuzzy type, that’s probably not going to go well or might not. Especially if you get all three people are of the prickly variety. Well, they’re just gonna, they’re just going to bounce off of each other. That’s not to say that if that’s all you have, you can’t put them on a team, but you’re going to need to do some really hard work to get those people talking, identifying common goals and ensuring that they develop a sort of shared mental image of what their team is. Like. Something as simple as let’s pick a team name is important. It seems silly, but that is the first step in identifying as, rather than Bob and Shira and Dan and Sam, I ran out of the ability to invent names after the first two, um, we become the tigers or whatever we choose to call ourselves.

Dan Neumann: [11:32]
And, uh, actually we had a pretty cool moment using your, your team Tiger’s name. Uh, it was a colleague it’s. Some of the development is outsourced AgileThought happens to be doing this person when they were in the sprint reviews to hi, you know, I’m so-and-so and I’m with the Tiger’s team and off they went it, they didn’t say I’m with AgileThought, you know, drawing that reinforcing that artificial constraint that some of the humans on the team came from this company versus that company. It was some pretty cool like, Hey, I’m, so-and-so, I’m a tiger. It’s like, yes. Yeah, yeah. An excellent team. Yeah.

Sam Falco: [12:05]
I’m forming a new critique group for, well, I’m not forming it. One of my former critique partner. And I decided to get involved in a critique group and she solicited some members. We had our first meeting last night and that was one of the things we did. We created a name for ourselves because we’re five people, two people know each other, but the others do not, and we don’t know what to expect from each other, but now we’re not just these five or six individuals. We are, we are, uh, the beginnings of a team where we’re going to have to learn to work together.

Dan Neumann: [12:39] So we were talking about formation, getting people, hopefully with the skills and, uh, doing some intentional work as leaders or facilitators to make sure that there’s a common goal, that there is, um, uh, some sharing and some trusts. There’s a little bit of vulnerability building some trust, a shared identity. And then the next step step, I don’t even want to call it a, another facet is the, the storming part conflict. And one of the, um, one of the dysfunctions I have seen is a desire for there to be no conflict. Um, and I think that comes from okay, we don’t want people taking swings at each other or cursing each other out in team meetings yet that kind of conflict is detrimental. But if you’re trying to solve a hard problem, there will be lots of different ideas about how to do it. And that is its own form of conflict. We have a problem to solve.

Sam Falco: [13:44] Conflict isn’t necessarily negative, but for many people they’ve never experienced healthy conflict, whether it’s at work or in their personal lives. And they have a bit of shell shock. So we have to look for ways to build some trust in very small ways. You can’t just say, no, you’re trusting each other. Again, none of this is you can’t do any of this by command. People are complicated, we are emotional. And we have to realize that. So yeah, the storming phase, well, someone may engage in a little conflict, test the waters, and then it shuts right down because people react poorly. So as a leader here previously, you’re just sort of coordinating things as a leader when your team is in that storming phase. Now you’re coaching. Now you are helping them develop mutual trust. You are helping them navigate. I would say organizational impediments and conflict that will detract from them trying form a team. So you’re trying to get the organization to give them space and then talking to them about what does conflict going to look like? Team working agreements are something you should probably generate in the forming stage. But during that storming phase, a good solid working agreement that we refer to frequently and really work on identifying here’s how conflict is going to be resolved here and doing that can get you through a storming phase pretty quickly if everybody is really on board with doing that.

Dan Neumann: [15:26] Yes. And I want to just check calling it a phase. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re we’re. I think Becky’s toes are curling and we’ll get her on one of these here before too long, I think, but because it’s, it’s not right. It’s not, um, you don’t form and then storm and then, you know, there’s, there, there can always be some kind of storming happening a little storm, a big storm. It varies.

Sam Falco: [15:52] So, um, it’s not discrete phase in that we never go back to it and it never happens again, is it’s certainly possible to have a team that has reached a very high level of performing. And then two people fall back into storming behavior for whatever reason.

Dan Neumann: [16:21] And it might be because they both have two really good options for the team should move forward. And one of the places I see storming happen, maybe more than it should is created a win. It’s not clear how the team decides is everything consensus. Do we all have to agree before anything happens? Oh dear God, I hope not. You will like decision-making will take a long time. Um, and you’re going to Pello has a really nice, um, I think it’s seven, uh, levels of delegation. There’s a nice activity everywhere from the leader decrees that it will be. So, and then it, it is a leader driven, but less, um, but more participation until it’s consensus in the middle and then farther over on the right it’s degrees to which the quote, not leaders are, are able to decide with autonomy, uh, all the way over to, I don’t care. Just go do whatever you want. Um, and when there’s a misunderstanding about how we’re going to decide if I think you and I should agree on what we’re going to title this podcast episode, and you know it, and I’m not one of us just I’ll pick on you, just throw the title out there. And it’s, I’m like, Hey, wait, Sam, we didn’t talk. I thought we had to agree. There can be hard feelings created very unintentionally simply because we don’t agree on how the decision is going to be made.

Sam Falco: [17:44] Absolutely. And that is one of the tasks of a leader in this is helping the team, make those decisions. And that helps us develop mutual trust, which is also part of that stage. When we start forming that, then we start to get into, into more norming where teams identify some common goals. They’re working towards those goals with some standards, there’s some commitment. And then the leaders role, again, shifts a little too, just empowering getting feedback, um, allowing leadership to emerge from within the team, not, not being the leader all the time. And just essentially this is where a leader needs to get, start getting out of the way, because then the team can exercise their autonomy, I think is the word I’m looking for as a unit rather than as individuals.

Dan Neumann: [18:41] Yeah. It could be challenging for leaders to know when to hop in and contribute and when to sit back and allow the team to get there on their own. And then as coaches, I think we run into that as well sometimes with, um, teams that are doing well. And sometimes you want to hop in and contribute something, but sometimes not contributing about three seconds later, they get to the thing that was maybe an interjection that you were going to make. It’s like, cool. They got there. Yay. You know, not, not acting was the right thing to do because now the team is learning to, um, continue on their own along that performing spectrum.

Sam Falco: [19:25] Right? And that’s where I think Patrick Lencioni’s book the five dysfunctions of a team and the assorted materials around that can be very valuable. He identifies dysfunctions things that keep a team from performing. I kind of like to look at the flip side of those, what are the functional things we will see in a team? So right off the bat, let’s look at a team. Are they achieving shared goals? Great. You probably don’t have a lot of work to do there. They’re getting it done. So you want to look for little frictions and help them if they ask for it. I think at that point, you want to step back, but on that spectrum of, for him dysfunctions, and for me, the functional equivalents of those, we can look for problems. We can look for challenges and help a team move on because the problem is if something breaks down, I think let’s see how he puts it. Uh, draws it as a pyramid in the book. And if the lower levels of the pyramid fall apart, everything above it sort of crumbles. So we’re building trust. Ideally, we’re building trust in that forming storming and norming sequence or a cycle, I guess we’ll call it. But you have to maintain that. And trust is willingness to be vulnerable. It is a willingness to, you know, ask for help admit mistakes, that kind of thing. And so as a leader, you want to look for, are people doing things like, um, working extra hard so that other team members don’t know that they’ve made an error or don’t know something rather than asking, um, just hiding mistakes, um, going, you know, doing an runs around the team, that sort of thing. And if you see that then, well, then you’ve got a problem and you need to help them with that.

Dan Neumann: [21:22] One of the teams I worked with had a working agreement that set a, an explicit timeframe for how long they expected a teammate to wrestle with something independently before bringing it to the team for help. So yes, we want people to put some effort into figuring out a problem. We don’t want people going off for days spinning cycles when a simple, Hey, I’m stuck on this. Has anybody encountered it? Or have you seen a solution who might I talk to and bring it back to the team? There’s, there’s not good value for that team in having people going off and struggling independently. Um, and so they made an explicitly okay to say, I don’t know something.

Sam Falco: [22:07] Yes. I saw some conflict between two Scrum team members years ago, where there were, there was a junior developer who really felt at sea. Um, and he kept turning to one of the senior developers who had come up with no formal training whatsoever. I mean, he had taught himself everything didn’t even go to a bootcamp and was quite good at what he did, but he felt that the junior developer was not putting enough effort into finding the solutions for himself. And they had a bit of Contra Tom. One day when the junior developer said, I need help on this. And this senior developer just sort of erupted. And one of the things we had to do was eight and talk about maybe not lashing out at people. Um, the senior developer wanted to be into a leadership position, wanted to grow into a leadership role. Like that’s, that’s absolutely not going to help you get there and have them. In addition to the team-working agreement here is what I want you to have done before you come to me with a question. And the junior dev agreeing here is here is what I will do before I come to you with a question on stack overflow. Exactly. Where did you look on stack overflow? What’s what have you tried so far? Show me your work because the problem was, in some cases, the junior developer had done those things, but didn’t express that. So the senior developer thought he was just throwing up his hands and saying, I can’t solve this one. And actually, no, he had gone through some steps, but he wasn’t bringing that to his mentor or the person who really wanted to be a mentor, uh, which was another part of it. We’ve we discovered through dialogue that this senior dev really looked up to that senior dev really respected him. And so that’s why he kept going to him instead of taking it to the whole team was I really liked this guy. And so that helped as well, but also one of the things that came out of it was don’t just bring it to this single person, bring it to the whole team because maybe somebody else is struggling with this. And I think we’re, I’m getting off on a tangent that I don’t want to get off on too. So let’s bring it back to particular teams.

Dan Neumann: [24:24] Yeah, no for sure. So we’ve got, uh, we talked about some of the facets of forming and some of the things that can happen when the team is storming and performing, um, story and.

Sam Falco: [24:38] Trust is what we were talking about when we got, when I dragged us off on that tangent as a foundational principle of the, the things the team needs to function well, and without trust you can’t have the healthy conflict that we were talking about that gets you up to performing without trust. We’re not going to express an idea that might generate conflict. We’re not going to disagree because someone’s going to bite my head off. And so we can’t even have the healthy conflict without the trust.

Dan Neumann: [25:08] and the pyramid had that as the very base of that pyramid. Exactly. It’s nothing to build on if you don’t right. And engaging, once we can engage in healthy conflict, then we can get the commitment.

Sam Falco: [25:18] And this circles back to something you mentioned earlier where teams need to commit to a common goal. So the example you gave just you and I, we have to have an agreement on how we’re going to title the podcasts. Well, if we can engage in healthy conflict and we come to, I don’t actually like the title, but you’ve heard my reasons for a different title that we’ve decided not to go with. I can support that decision because at least I know we got it out there. We hashed it out. I can see your reasoning. You saw mine and we can move on from there. If we don’t have healthy conflict, then I’m going to shrug my shoulders and say, yes, fine. We can title it that whatever. And you’re going to say, I won. And then that ends the collaboration right there.

Dan Neumann: [26:02] Right, right, right. Yes. And that’s how we came up with the prior episodes. Don’t get your agile shorts in a knot. Right.

Sam Falco: [26:10] We should have recorded that session where we were kicking that title, but we have this thing, what do we call it? Right.

Dan Neumann: [26:18] And it was, it was, it was an interesting creative process based on coming to an agreement in that case, we did ultimately agree it and have consensus.

Sam Falco: [26:28] And once we have that level of commitment, you can’t have accountability without that. So we now hold each other accountable. If someone says that’s a terrible title, I’m not going to point in and say, well, that was Dan’s idea. Um,

Dan Neumann: [26:44] Oh, you’re not. No, no. I think it was a love letter. So I encourage people to go back and explore that one. Um, cause it was, it was fun and, and valuable.

Sam Falco: [26:54] And then just one more thing before we move on, is that again, mapping to, let’s say these dysfunctions as the flip side of assets, once we can hold each other accountable in a healthy way, then we get to shared goals, commitment to those shared goals and achieving as a team.

Dan Neumann: [27:14]
Accountability is one of those words that I hear get used a lot. And for a long time, it, it seemed to me like it was, we want to punish somebody who’s butt is in the proverbial sling if things don’t go well. Um, so I really struggle with that because it felt like it was who are we going to beat up? Whose neck do we choke? Whose job is on the line. In some cases, if things don’t go well. And at one point I heard accountability is simply to give an accounting for. So it doesn’t mean you always do everything you were going to, but when things go sideways, giving an accounting for, Hey, here’s, here’s what went wrong. Here’s what we didn’t see. Here’s where we mis-stepped. Here’s where you did everything. Right. And the outcome still was bad. That happens. But, but being able to give an accounting for that, and then hopefully some improvements can be built upon that, but it’s not to pick on somebody or fire somebody or blame somebody when they are accountable for it, but going in there and be like, Oh gosh, I dunno. Yeah. Geez, sorry guys. It just all fell over sideways. That’s not great.

Sam Falco: [28:28]
Yeah. And I’ve seen that in some leadership quote, unquote teams, like these were high level folks in an organization and they all had their own goals and they weren’t trying to do what was right for the organization. Because in this case they were all in incentivized differently in a way that made them basically be cutthroat. And so that’s another factor is you have to look at what are you incenting a team to do and behave like. So you can say, you want them to get to performing and you want them to be having shared responsibility and accountable. They all you like. But if the incentives are for hero behavior or one person to get their thing across the line at the, at the expense of what everybody else needs to do, then you’re not going to get good team behavior at that point.

Dan Neumann: [29:20] Yeah. That nods to a whole realm of systems thinking and making sure that we aren’t sub-optimizing the, the sales right. Wells Fargo got into all manner of trouble because they were incenting people to open accounts. And by golly, they did. Yeah. For people who didn’t want them. And so yeah. Incentives can drive unintentional really bad stuff when they’re created poorly.

Sam Falco: [29:47]
Yeah. A classic example of that in software development is if you incense, QA to find bugs, they’ll find them. And in one feedback loop I heard about, I didn’t experience this, but a friend of mine told me about that, that the QA folks got bonuses for how many bugs they found. And so they basically teamed up with developers to split that money. Developers would put in bugs for QA to find, and then they would split the split, the loot.

Dan Neumann: [30:18] There’s a Dilbert that was like, I coded myself a new car or whatever on this premise. Wally or whoever it was. Anyway, that’s a total tangent. So I’m using Tuckman’s model as air Tuckman’s theory is, is another way as a kind of a thinking framework for how in, in what manner should a leader engage with teams? You know, are we a group let’s try and form a team. If they’re a team, what facets of form storm, norm, perform are exhibiting themselves now and then appropriately engaging as a leader with those, those folks I think would be the big takeaway.

Sam Falco: [31:00] Yeah, I think so. And you get some, you see some interesting behavior once you get that, uh, the concept of swarming we’ll talk about that. Well, the team will, will swarm on this. Will they? They won’t, unless they’re in a performing situation. And, uh, I’ve seen some folks push mob programming on teams that weren’t ready for that mob programming is basically constant swarming. And if you don’t have the team dynamics in play that might not work out so well for you. So you need to consciously build a team that can do that.

Dan Neumann: [31:31] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Look for techniques that are appropriate to that team. Sam, I believe we’re at the point of the podcast where we ask what is part of your continuous learning journey?

Sam Falco: [31:44] Every time you say that, I start to say that I think of Dana Carvey saying this is the part of Sprockets where we like to dance. Do you not watch Saturday night live?

Dan Neumann: [31:55]
I grew up in the very rural part of Michigan where I got CBS and public broadcasting. And when the wind blew just right, we get a station from Canada. Uh, yeah. NBC, not so much a thing.

Sam Falco: [32:06] I’m sorry. Never mind.

Dan Neumann: [32:08] But anyway.

Sam Falco: [32:10] There’s some people in the audience who get that reference.

Dan Neumann: [32:13] Let’s pump them up then.

Sam Falco: [32:16]
Exactly. All right. I am reading. This is not true to say I’m reading I bought about have not yet started to read a book called human autocracy, creating organizations as amazing as the people inside them. It’s by Gary Hamel and Michelle Zanini and that’s as much as I can really talk about, because as I said, I had the book recommended me and it’s about getting rid of bureaucracy and replacing it with a better way of doing, so I’m really excited to read it. I think it’s going to be really helpful to me in my coaching career, in management, in all of the things that we do.

Dan Neumann: [32:57]
It’s awesome. So we’ll put that out there as a we’ll circle back at some point and here. Absolutely. Okay. Well wonderful.

Sam Falco: [33:03] At the speed I’m reading. Next episode, we can talk about like the first five pages of chapter one.

Dan Neumann: [33:08] I love it. And I’ll still working through the same book. I was last time. So we will, we won’t go there.

Sam Falco: [33:14] My pet goat.

Dan Neumann: [33:19] I now know what I’m going to write as a book. I keep thinking, I need to write something. So maybe that’ll be it. But before we digress any further.

Sam Falco: [33:26]

Outro: [33:29] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes at

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