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22 Nov 2015, 00:19
Sandy Mamoli (4 posts)

Welcome and thanks for reading our book!

We hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, possibly even life changing! :-)

We invite you to use this forum to ask any questions (we’ll happily and speedily answer), give feedback and post discussions around topics in the book. And, if you have an experiences with Self-Selection you’d like to share, we’d love to hear your story. Sandy & David (authors)

22 Nov 2015, 09:55
Rafeequl Rahman (1 post)

Thanks for your great book. In our company, we’ve been trying to figure out how to have a self-sufficient team, want-to over have-to. But we don’t have a clue how to actually pull this off. With this book, now we finally have some clue how to execute it step by step.

However, I read that this self-selection team is good for a larger group. How do you define a “larger” group ? How to justify that we need it ? Another question, how to divide squads ? As I understand it represent a team of a project/product ? is it good idea to have sub-project squads ?

30 Nov 2015, 22:25
David Mole (1 post)

Hi there, thanks for your nice words and comments. I’m glad you have picked up the book and it has been useful. To answer your questions, a large group for us was 150-200 people, we found that the process worked well even with a group of this size.

In terms of justifying it, that is a tougher question! We found empowering the people closest to the information was the best way to explain what we were trying to do, but you could also start with a small trial (like we did) to prove the concept and have demonstrable results.

Squads can be aligned around products and/or projects as you see fit. We chose to mainly align people around products or areas of the business, and that way the squads could remain stable (and grow and learn together) whilst the projects and work inevitably changes over time.

I wasn’t sure what you meant by sub-project squads, did you mean multiple squads working on a single project?

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01 Dec 2015, 05:01
Lucien Boland (1 post)

I’m enjoying reading this book and the experience the authors are sharing. I must admit however to being a little shocked when I read on page 36 under “materials you will need”:

“Do what is best for your company” banner.

Surely, nobody could take such a banner seriously after the lampooning it got in “Office Space”?

02 Dec 2015, 08:59
Sandy Mamoli (4 posts)

Perhaps the “Office Space” is more relevant in the US.

The banner works effectively in New Zealand, in our company that people actually believe in.

26 May 2016, 09:05
YuHsiu Lin (1 post)

Thank you for your sharing on how to do self-selection in a company. It is quite different approach and brave change for an organization. We have a small group of people from various companies to read your book together in Taiwan. Recently, we have a discussion session on Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Some people raised a question that “Doing the best for your company” sounds great but in fact contradicting to the real human behavior. Mostly, people will go for the team with excellent persons, and avoid the person who is not in a good condition. A product owner may have secretly talked with the persons he believes good for his team before the self-selection event. Some persons may have allied before the event and go together to the same team. Under this situation, some teams will definitely much weaker than the others. What’s the advice to deal with this kind of “Doing the Best for Oneself” instead of “Doing the best for your company”?

29 May 2016, 07:31
Sandy Mamoli (4 posts)

Hi YuHsiu,

Great to hear that you have a great cross-organisational circle going. We’re very happy that you’re reading Creating Great Teams!

I’d ask everyone who asks this question how they would choose their team if they were personally in this position. If their employer trusted them to make a choice based on what is best for the company would they themselves really just do what is best for them?

I have met very few people across all the companies we have run self-selection events who did not consider both what they wanted to do and also what was fair and reasonable to their company.

You say that you believe it’s human nature to choose to work with excellent people and to avoid the not so “good” ones. I find many people enjoy teaching and mentoring others and I have seen many groups where senior and juniors, stars and average people chose to form a team.

People are usually good, constructive, reasonable and want the right things. They are perfectly capable to strike the balance between doing what is both best for them and what is best for their company.

If you really have someone where you genuinely think they’re not acting this way, I’d ask them directly during self-selection how they think their choice is best for the company, how their choice helps solve the overall puzzle and how they believe this is best for them and their employer. And if they can see other options for solving the puzzle.

Whenever this has happened in one of my events this has either prompted the person to realise that their solution probably wasn’t the best or it has made me realise that the person had a perfectly valid reason to think that this was best for the company. In short, don’t assume people’s motives. Have a conversation. And be open to the possibility they might be right.

Hope this helps …


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