People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64

In First Person: Suzanne Bell
Predicting Team Success in Outer Space
teams as complete units-not hire
individuals at all but an entire coding
crew, for example. What do think of this
trend? Does it happen in other contexts
you are familiar with?
Suzanne: Team hiring has been used
with top management teams for quite
some time; however, it is on the increase
in other circumstances. For example, as
innovation is increasingly difficult for
organizations, I've seen team and cluster
hiring used for Research & Development and science teams. Hiring teams
can be a good idea when the team is
central to the organization's competitive
advantage, when the organization wants
to break into a new space, or when
teamwork is highly interdependent.
Hiring a team can seem like the
"safe" bet because there is evidence
that the team can already work well
together. Whether the team engages in
beneficial teamwork processes and has
developed important emergent states
like team cohesion or shared cognition
can be assessed. At the same time, just
because a team was successful elsewhere may not mean that it will excel
in the new organization. Differences
between the old and new organization
in terms of culture and resources need
to be thoughtfully considered. A team
hired as a unit can sometimes become
too inward focused in a new organization. The team was likely hired in part
because it is cohesive. Communication
and workflow between the team and
the broader organization needs to be
considered during team hiring process.
Does the team have a "boundary spanner," a person that will help integrate
the team and their discoveries to the
broader organization? Membership
change can also be beneficial for team
innovation, although it can be disruptive to teamwork at first. If an intact
team will be hired, is there reason to
believe that they will have a continued flow of fresh ideas? The ultimate
question is whether the team, as a unit,
can contribute to the organization's
64

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

competitive advantage in a meaningful
way. Knowing the team can work well
together is one component of that.
P+S: Many teams are no longer collocated and are scattered across time zones
and geographies. They are also composed of highly diverse members. What
are the special requirements of highly
diverse virtual teams?
Suzanne: Trust, regular communication
between different subgroups of the
team that are at different locations, and
a clear understanding of who is doing
what is essential for virtual team success.
Particularly as teams are increasingly
multinational, it can be important to
have an initial in-person interaction to
build trust and for team members to develop an understanding of each other.
Trust (or lack of trust, unfortunately)
provides a lens through which all future
team member interactions are perceived
and judged. Often virtual teams have a
subset of team members at one location
and another subset of team members at
another location. While some bonding
within each location is okay, too much
can create silos in a team. Information
is less likely to be shared across these divides, which can be detrimental to team
effectiveness. Regular communication
across different locations and a focus on
the overall shared team objectives are
important for helping the team to leverage the capabilities of team members
across the country or across the world.
P+S: I know you have done work on
teams who have to remain together for
very long periods in preparation for deep
space missions, for example. What have
we learned about human compatibility
and our ability to cooperate from these
environments?
Suzanne: Our research for deep space
missions provides a magnifying glass
for many of the dynamics seen in more
traditional workplaces. We put teams in
a small habitat for an extended period

of time, isolate them from outside influences, and gather a number of metrics
through interviews and surveys, as well
as unobtrusive sources like text analysis
and video. We've learned quite a bit
from these teams. First, interpersonal
compatibility is important because team
members rarely "grow" to appreciate
one another. How team members think
and feel about one another after 45 days
of isolation can be predicted fairly well
by how members they think and feel
about one another very early on. Some
combinations of people are more com-

Few teams perfectly
coordinate all the
time, but teams that
are "mission focused"
are able to keep
disagreements from
derailing their team.
patible than others and this shapes the
trajectory of team member relationships
and ultimately team performance.
Second, while team-level phenomena like cohesion and shared cognition are important, the relationships
between specific team members are
also important. For example, team
members were confident in their team's
capabilities across the mission; however,
some members were not confident in
one of the team member's capabilities.
The team member didn't feel that his
insights were appreciated and stopped
contributing his ideas. This led to
poorer team decision-making in our
experiments. Teams are strongest when
they incorporate the diverse perspectives of team members. A belief in the
team as a whole is important, but it
can't always compensate for strained
relationships between specific team
members. Compatibility needs to be
considered between team members in
key positions, as well as for the team as
a whole.



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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