Google’s Search for the Magic Team Formula

The folks over at Google launched an extensive project – codename “Project Aristotle” – to determine the magic formula for teamwork. After years of intense analysis, they discovered the key is just plain ol’ “being nice.” It’s not so much about who is on the team, but about how team members interact, what kind of environment that creates, and how it fosters teamwork.

Google shows us the incredible importance of taking the time to understand others – finding a way to relate and then making yourself understood. In other words, making a Connection. With Project Aristotle, the Google team thought it would surely be the mix of people on the team that determined its success, and then they spent several years proving themselves “dead wrong.” To test the project’s findings, one Google manager hosted a team meeting to talk about his recent cancer diagnosis. Initially, everyone was silent then eventually they began sharing their own stories. The manager had created a safe environment where team members felt comfortable sharing and Connecting. Once everyone shares the belief that it’s safe to take risks and contribute ideas, that’s when the magic happens.

How might we make Connections to create a sharing environment for our teams? How could we do a better job inviting people to Connect?