People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20

keys to the doors that must be unlocked along the way to
the goal.
Successful ignition teams lean out: teasing out the signal
from the noise of what they hear from constituents, then
understanding what this signal implies they must deliver in
order to obtain the commitments they need. Teams inevitably
face the temptation of "deciding they're right" and persisting
on the fuel of this conviction, without even getting close to
signing up the critical stakeholders on whom their success
ultimately depends.
Success, however, is never a matter simply of understanding
the needs and demands of others and saying yes. When all the
needs and demands-both those that flow from the team's
own goal and the requirements of others-are heaped up on
the table, they're apparently impossible to fulfill together. The
team must lean in to put together the puzzle pieces represented by everything the members have heard and learned, and
with these pieces-and the new pieces they realize they must
discover-figure out a way to escape the boundaries of what
appeared possible at first.
Ignition teams often experience a rhythm of moving back
and forth between leaning in to develop a powerful idea,
leaning out to test what it will take to forge the partnerships
required to realize the idea's potential, leaning in to resolve
the challenges and contradictions that these complex needs
imply, and so on. This dance of leaning in and leaning out,
when it goes well, creates a spiral of increasingly broad constellations of collaboration as the core ignition team progresses toward its goal. Michael Arena and Mary Uhl-Bien, focused
on innovation inside large organizations, write elegantly about
the importance of "adaptive space"-a bridge space between
pockets of entrepreneurial activity and the core of the organization that allows new ideas to be shared and tried, and
connects these new ideas to possible sponsorship in the larger
organization. 8
In all of the examples we've explored here, the ignition
teams each needed to create some form of adaptive space,
creating a new "we" in the process of leaning out that could
lean in together and solve for shared success. The Rockefeller Foundation/Incandescent team working on youth
employment, for instance, needed to create such a "we"
with change agents inside several large corporations, with
members of the Obama administration shaping the First
Jobs Compact, with other funders building the 100,000
Opportunities Coalition, and many others. Crucially, the
work required not only forming each "we" but determining
how the opportunities and challenges encountered in each
of these contexts-often pointing in apparently contradictory directions-could be integrated into a coherent body of
work to define and promote impact hiring.

Conclusion

In sum, ignition teams face a set of unique teaming tasks:
* They need diverse team members but can't specify required skills in advance.
* Members need to consistently align and iterate, and yet
keep their independence.
* They need to do the work they can't yet plan for.

20

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

* They need to absorb significant stress and tension yet also
challenge each other constantly.
* They need to be open to the world but stay integrated.
The challenge of innovation presents not just difficulties
but impasses and dilemmas. This is the terrain ignition teams
confront.
Whether through process or through experience and
intuition, successful ignition teams practice the art of balancing. They wrest coherent, elegant advances from diverse
ideas deeply in tension with one another. They stay together,
cohesive in their commitment to a shared goal, even as they
step into the conflict that inevitably flows from competing
ideas and disparate interests. They move back and forth
between the tactical work of today and reflection on what
could advance goals far beyond their current reach. They lean
in and lean out, expanding the "we" advancing their work as
they engage the world and as they work through the divergent
needs and issues this broader "we" presents.
What innovation demands is not, of course, a recipe-but
a pattern. What forms that pattern takes is what each ignition
team must discover, each in its own crucible.
Darko Lovric is a Principal with Incandescent, where he advises
clients on how to innovate, change, and grow their organizations. He
can be reached at darko.lovric@incandescent.com.
Niko Canner founded the management consulting and venture development firm Incandescent in 2013, building on nearly 20 years as an
advisor to leaders of many of the world's major companies, foundations, and non-profits. He can be reached at niko@incandescent.com.
Cynthia Warner is the Head of Research at Incandescent, where she
focuses on the firm's efforts to develop a practical system of thinking
about human enterprise. She can be reached at cynthia.warner@
incandescent.com.

References
1 Stevenson, H. H. and Jarillo, J. C. "A paradigm of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial management." Strategic Management
Journal 11 (Summer 1990): 17-27.
2 Katzenbach, J. R., and Smith, D. K. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating
the High Performance Organization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business
Review Press, 1993.
3 Hackman, J. R. Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2002.
4 Page, S.E. The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off in the
Knowledge Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
2017.
5 Surowiecki, J. The Wisdom of Crowds. New York, NY: Anchor
Books, 2005.
6 Coutu, D., and Beschloss, M. "Why teams don't work." Harvard
Business Review 87, no. 5(2005): 98-105.
7 Barnard, C. I. The Functions of the Executive. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1966.
8 Arena, M. J., and Uhl-Bien, M. "Complexity leadership theory:
Shifting from human capital to social capital." People + Strategy
39, no. 2 (2016): 22.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
The Rise of Digital Team Building
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 5
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Guest Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 7
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 9
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 10
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 11
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 12
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 13
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 14
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 15
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 17
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 18
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 19
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 21
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 23
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 24
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 25
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 26
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 27
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 28
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 29
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 31
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 34
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 35
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 37
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 38
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 39
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 40
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 41
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 43
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 47
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 48
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 49
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 50
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 51
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - The Rise of Digital Team Building
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 55
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 57
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 58
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 59
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 60
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 61
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - In First Person
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 63
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 65
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 67
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 68
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 69
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 71
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 73
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 74
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover4
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