Surviving and Thriving in

the Teamwork Jungle
EDUCAUSE Connect - Baltimore 2014
Andrew C. Lawlor
Dennis J. Bradley
Title: Surviving and Thriving in the Teamwork Jungle - Resource Version
Subject: EDUCAUSE Connect Baltimore 2014
Author: Andrew C. Lawlor and Dennis J. Bradley
Copyright [Andrew C. Lawlor and Dennis J. Bradley] [2014]. This work is the intellectual property of the
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❖ Surviving and Thriving requires
➢ Effective Teamwork Strategies
➢ Effective Leadership
➢ Effective Change Tactics
❖ Six Thinking Hats
❖ Type of exercise - group participation of all individuals
by table
Teamwork Exercise
Effective Teamwork
Three Components
❖ Building the Team
❖ Using Group Consensus
❖ Avoiding GroupThink
Building the Team
❖ Getting the wrong people off the bus; the
right people on the bus (Good to Great,
❖ Developing a sense of shared responsibility
Collins, J. & Porras, J. , 2011
When are group decisions superior to
individual decisions?
● Pooling resources to solve problems or make
decisions (diversity of opinion, skills)
● Good communication (unique info)
● Tasks too complex for one individual
Approaches to group decision making
Leader oriented
❖ leader decides
❖ leader assigns experts to make the decisions
❖ consultative - leader consults with team and
then decides
Group Technique
❖ Group uses mathematical techniques
❖ Group uses structured decision techniques
(nominal group techniques)
❖ Democratic: group votes, majority rules
Full Participation
❖ Group reaches consensus
Guidelines to Help Reach Consensus
1. Listen to the position of others
2. Do not change your position just to avoid
3. Encourage others to explain their position
4. Do not try to reach a quick agreement
5. Allow both sides to win, rather than
❖ Occurs when group members’ desires to
maintain good relations becomes more
important than reaching a good decision
❖ Group searches for an answer that will
preserve group harmony
Janis. I., 1972
Avoiding Groupthink
❖ Consider several alternatives
❖ Examine both the positive and adverse consequences of
its decision
❖ Carefully consider alternatives before selecting one
❖ Seek advice from outside experts
❖ Consider what to do if the decision does not work
Six Thinking Hats
May help avoid groupthink and foster teamwork

Edward De Bono, 1985
What is it?
● It is a simple and
effective system that
increases productivity.
● There are six
metaphorical hats and
each defines a certain
type of thinking.
● You can put on or take off
one of these hats to indicate
the type of thinking you are
● This putting on and taking
off is essential, because it
allows you to switch from
one type of thinking to

Why use Six Thinking Hats?
❖ Looks at a decision from all points of view
❖ Allows emotion to meld with rationality
❖ Ensures some level of creativity
❖ Gives everyone a voice
Collins, J. & Porras, J. (2011). Built to last:
Successful habits of visionary companies.
De Bono, E. (2009). Six thinking hats.
Janis. I. (1972). Victims of groupthink.
Levi, D. (2010). Group dynamics of teams.
❖ Leadership Questions
❖ Type of exercise - individual written reflection
Leadership Exercise

360 degree leadership, John Maxwell
Value of 360 degree Leadership
❖ Builds a team of leaders
❖ Leaders are needed at every level
❖ Qualifier for leading at the next level
❖ Good leaders in the middle make better
leaders at the top
❖ 360-degree leaders possess qualities every
organization needs
Change Case Study

A Technology Support Problem
❖ Case Study
❖ Type of exercise - group discussion by table
Change Exercise
Your University (facility) has a large and
eclectic range of technologies and users but you
have a small and narrowly skilled number of
support staff. In addition, your support staff
have many other responsibilities outside of just
providing user support services.
The Issue
Over time your users have learned to go directly
to their “preferred” technical support staff and
they are resistant to use your help desk
services. Your technical support staff have been
pawning off requests to other support staff who
are either more skilled or who have had
experience with the specific topics(s).
The Issue (continued)
Essentially, “funnels of expertise” have been
created which create bottlenecks and promote
dwindling customer satisfaction levels. You
have a helpdesk system in place but you still
feel there is chaos, low customer service
satisfaction and employee burnout occurring.
The Issue (continued)
❖ Overcome this “funnel of expertise”, expand
professional knowledge of your staff, shift
your users to the help desk system, and
increase customer satisfaction levels.
Edinboro University’s Solution – Implement a
Building Technology Support Team model. We
logically divided up all the buildings among the
technical support staff. For example, certain
technicians were predominantly focused on
academics and some were focused on
administrative so those buildings
which housed administrative staff were
assigned to administrative focused technical
support staff and those buildings which housed
academic oriented staff were assigned to
academic focused technical support staff. We
did not focus on dividing up the buildings
evenly as we had different levels of employees
(managers and union technicians).
Solution (continued)
We focused on keeping the complexity within
their classifications. In addition to having
student employees as the first level of help desk
support, we assigned one technical support
staff member to be a “pool monitor” each day of
the week. The pool monitor responsibility
served as the 2nd level of
Solution (continued)
support where s/he either resolved the
incoming calls or dispatched the call to the
appropriate technology support person. Five
technical support staff rotated as the pool
monitor each day of the week. This required
20% of a technician’s time each week but they
could also work on other tasks when the pool
was not busy.
Solution (continued)
Eight Stages of Leading Change
1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency
2. Creating the Guiding Coalition
3. Developing a Vision and Strategy
4. Communicating the Change Vision
5. Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action
6. Generating Short-Term Wins
7. Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change
8. Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture
Thriving: The Survivor’s
“Either manage your culture or it will manage you.”
Conners, R. & Smith, T.
Thriving requires:
❖ having people work together for a
common goal;
❖ empowering for maximum results;
❖ recognizing that implementing
technology is a culture change process
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