Retail Observer

March 2017

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MARCH 2017 14 W orkplace teambuilding activities have increased dramatically over the past two decades. And companies believe that when you bring bright, motivated people together for a common purpose, they'll gel into a cooperative, innovative, productive force. In reality, teamwork rarely just "happens" and team members often clash and compete with—if not sabotage—one another, resulting in a big waste of time, money, and talent. What separates the exceptions—teams that thrive, excel, and consistently deliver? An expert on team performance, Robert Bruce Shaw has dedicated extensive research, exclusive interviews, and up-close observation to identifying what outstanding teams do right—and differently. In EXTREME TEAMS: Why Pixar, Netflix, AirBnB, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail (AMACOM; $27.95 Hardcover), Shaw reveals highly effective teamwork at work inside seven highly successful companies. These companies all share a track record of significant growth and financial success, the ability to outmaneuver established competitors and prosper in the face of adversity, and a zest for experimenting with fresh, daring, sometimes daunting approaches to teambuilding and teamwork. For those willing to put in the effort and raring to rise to the challenge, EXTREME TEAMS offers a blueprint for developing teams modeled on the best—Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, Patagonia, Alibaba, Whole Foods, and Zappos—and the five success practices they share: • Foster a shared obsession. Extreme teams often have as a "cult-like" quality. Members view their work as a calling—much more than a job—and embrace a higher purpose that shapes their collective thinking and behavior. • Value fit over experience. Companies with extreme teams seek out candidates with the right mix of personal motives, values, and temperament to be a true team player. Cultural fit matters more than job history or skills. • Focus more, then less. Extreme teams are tightly aligned around the company's top few priorities while remaining open to new ideas. For members, the ongoing challenge is figuring out what not to do. • Push both harder and softer. Extreme teams are simultaneously tough in driving for measurable results on a few highly visible targets and supportive of individuals to create an environment of collaboration, trust, and loyalty. B O O K R E V I E W EXTREME TEAMS Why Pixar, Netflix, AirBnB, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail Author: Robert Bruce Shaw is a consultant specializing in organizational and team performance. An in-demand speaker, he is also the author of Trust in the Balance and Leadership Blindspots. Shaw resides in Princeton, New Jersey. Publisher: Amacombooks (other business books are available at RO

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