People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53

our interactions and connections with coworkers create meaning and purpose.
Fostering meaningful relationships at work does more than
just make people feel good. Employees who derive meaning
from their work are more than three times as likely to stay
with their organizations, and they also report 1.7 times higher
job satisfaction, and 1.4 times higher engagement at work.4
When Gallup research showed that that having a best friend
at work boosts engagement by 50 percent5, this statistic was
viewed as provocative. Today, wide recognition of the importance of organizational culture means it is no longer controversial that strengthening social ties in the workplace leads
employees to feel better and work harder. The drive to find
meaning at work is particularly pronounced among Millennials, a cohort willing to take a pay cut for work that matches
their values.6
The smartest organizations recognize that relationships
are formed and built at the team level, making it essential to
focus on improving team culture. Team building, or activities
designed to help teams work better together, has historically
been delivered infrequently or on an ad hoc basis. In the
modern workplace, this paradigm is turned on its head. There
is an urgent need to forge and sustain strong team relationships to optimize performance and retention, meaning that
team building is now a critical, ongoing, and strategic organizational activity.

The Case for Digital Team Building

Unlike other components of human resources that have been
revolutionized by technology, team building has not yet fully
arrived in the twenty-first century. Traditional team building
approaches-annual offsites, quarterly team dinners, happy
hours, facilitator-led events-fail to account for the needs of
a modern team, who are barely recognizable to teams of the
past. Today's teams are often distributed across geographies
or comprised of team members who work remotely (globally,
79 percent of knowledge workers do some work remotely, and
37 percent of American workers have worked virtually in their
careers, a four-fold increase since 19957). To deliver nimbly
in response to organizational objectives, teams rapidly form
around project areas-and disband as needs change. As a
result, there is less stability in team membership, and employees often belong to multiple teams simultaneously. This kind
of work increasingly demands cross-functional collaboration,
with employees working closely with teammates with different
skillsets, training, and cultural contexts.2 As these forces put
pressure on team dynamics and change the way teams operate, team building solutions must adapt to address teams'
evolving needs.
Concurrent with shifts in how teams function are evolutions in employees' expectations around how work gets done.
Employees increasingly demand workplace tools and experiences that are integrated and tech-enabled. This "consumerization of the workplace" means that employees expect workplace environments and tools to be as seamless as consumer
experiences outside of work.8 Half of knowledge workers are
using mobile devices for collaboration, and enterprise tools

such as Trello and Slack offer user experiences that mimic
the functionality and feel of consumer software.2,9 To appeal
to the modern worker, team building tools must look and feel
delightful.
At the same time, with ubiquitous virtual connectivity, the
concept of work-life balance is shifting to work-life integration. Previously, employees sought workplaces that protected
their leisure and family time away from the office. Today, employees are seeking to bring their whole selves to work and to
interact authentically and openly with their colleagues-a fair

It is no longer controversial that
strengthening social ties in the
workplace leads employees to feel
better and work harder.
exchange in return for the inevitability of work entering the
home sphere. This shift aligns with Google's findings on the
importance of psychological safety; employees benefit from
openness in the workplace.
Team building solutions must adapt to these seismic shifts
in how teams work and what they expect. Team building must
evolve to take place more frequently than once or twice a
year and be scalable enough for delivery throughout organizational layers. Teams need tools that integrate into their
daily workflows and seamlessly plug in to the other technology
platforms they use. Team building tools must enable connectivity across locations and time zones and be flexible enough
to support membership on multiple teams at the same time.
Solutions must be designed for inclusivity, with an eye toward
building relationships across a diversity of cultures and ways
of working. And the experience must be user-friendly and
engaging-while delivering real impact.
With these criteria in mind, current team building solutions fall short on multiple dimensions. Retreats and events
lack scalability and are neither integrated nor flexible. Team
dinners and happy hours may fail to be inclusive and rarely
deliver sustained impact. Coaches and facilitators are expensive and difficult to scale. The rise of new digital team building solutions is inevitable.

Case Study: Know Your Crew

A digital team building platform such as Know Your Crew
is one example of a new solution that delivers on the needs
of the modern team. Know Your Crew is a question-based,
gamified mobile tool designed to build and deepen trust on
teams. Weekly questions prompt individuals to share about
their habits, values, and personality quirks, and a trivia-like
game dynamic allows teams to learn about each other and
earn points. Teams engage with the Know Your Crew app in
five-week programs, playing weekly team building games that
each take less than fifteen minutes. To enhance usability, the
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2018

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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
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_41_3_2018
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_2_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_39_1_2016
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/HRPS/hrps_fall2014_teaser
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