People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54

Know Your Crew game dynamic was tested with consumers to
ensure a fun and engaging experience. The tool is grounded
in research around building intimate relationships over time
and draws on established frameworks of team development.
Most importantly Know Your Crew was built to be flexible
and enabled for remote teams and across time zones.
A case study brings to life how a digital team building tool
like Know Your Crew can create impact for modern teams.
Russell Reynolds' 30-plus person global knowledge team plays
a crucial role as the connective tissue and collective brain of
the organization, supporting functions across the executive
search and leadership advisory business. Connectivity internally on the knowledge team is critical to effectively sharing information and collaborating. The team operates across multiple

Creating engagement, trust, and
connection is the single biggest
hurdle for team building of any kind-
whether digital or live.
geographies, spanning from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom to different cities across the United States. They work in
different time zones and communicate frequently through
email, chat, and conference calls. But they rarely enjoy quality
face-to-face time and many have never met in person even
once. They know each other as workers, as voices on the other
end of the line, but not as people with unique personalities,
passions, and senses of humor.
During the team's five-week Know Your Crew team building
program, the team answered more than 850 questions about
their likes, dislikes, habits, and histories, and shared these with
their teammates. They learned personalized nuggets about
each person through answering questions like, "What is one
of the best gifts you have ever received?" The answers ranged
from a puppy to World Series tickets, and even "a professionally drawn comic book featuring a group of friends as imaginary
super heroes." Learning about each other's quirks and habits
helped humanize remote teammates and allowed personalities to shine through across the distance. With 95 percent
weekly engagement, the Russell Reynolds team reported that
the experience not only let them have fun and feel closer, but
equipped them to communicate and collaborate better.
As this case study illustrates, a small but regular dose of
team building can have a big impact on team dynamics. For
teams like the global knowledge group at Russell Reynolds,
sustaining these results requires continued focus and investment in team building. Just as maintaining physical health
requires ongoing exercise, team health needs attention and
nurturing over time.

Implementation Considerations and Challenges
Digital team building technology is new, and optimizing
implementation is an ongoing challenge. Creating engage54

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

ment, trust, and connection is the single biggest hurdle for
team building of any kind-whether digital or live. While
people may just not show up for traditional team building
events, "not showing up" also has consequences in the digital
world. It may feel easier and lower stakes to opt out of a
digital experience, and employee engagement levels may
vary over time given shifting workloads, travel schedules, and
other factors. Digital team building also requires a shift from
team building as a single circumscribed event or experience
(e.g., the classic offsite or happy hour) to an ongoing and
integrated component of team life. This evolution means that
teams must create new routines and behaviors around when
to engage in team building over the course of the typical
workweek.
Digital team building solutions must be designed to
account for disparities in engagement, as well as to sustain
teams' interest and attention over time. One possible approach is through the concept of the "productive break"-language that's been used for the introduction of mindfulness
and short bursts of exercise into the workday.10 The world of
game design also offers up relevant paradigms for driving
short- and long-term engagement, as do habit-based consumer apps such as Headspace and Stickk. Taking inspiration
from these models, digital team building can create and
sustain team engagement
by offering incentives
and social reinforcement
and by enabling leveling
up and novel discoveries
over time.
Capturing employees'
attention also means
connecting to the places
that teams are spending
time talking and working.
There is an imperative
for digital team building
solutions to integrate
with the communication
platforms used by teams
(e.g., HipChat, Slack,
Jive, Microsoft Teams),
but new solutions may
struggle to be a one-sizefits-all-solution. Existing
tools are optimized for
Know Your Crew uses
a single channel: One
questionnaires to spark
of the most well-known
conversations among team
digital team building
members.
offerings, Donut, is built
exclusively for use on
Slack, as is another solution,
Betwixt. Know Your Crew is built on mobile and delivers
communications via Slack and email. For Know Your Crew
and other team building solutions, building integration across
multiple team communication channels will be crucial to
optimizing engagement.
For digital team building solutions to succeed in the



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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