Business school professor Amy Edmondson studies “teaming,” where people come together quickly (and often temporarily) to solve new, urgent or unusual problems. Recalling stories of teamwork on the fly, such as the incredible rescue of 33 miners trapped half a mile underground in Chile in 2010, Edmondson shares the elements needed to turn a group of strangers into a quick-thinking team that can nimbly respond to challenges.

Here the transciption:

Think of your favorite sports team, because this is different. Sports teams work together: that magic, those game-saving plays. Now, sports teams win because they practice. But you can only practice if you have the same members over time. And so you can think of teaming … Sports teams embody the definition of a team, the formal definition. It’s a stable, bounded, reasonably small group of people who are interdependent in achieving a shared outcome. You can think of teaming as a kind of pickup game in the park, in contrast to the formal, well-practiced team. Now, which one is going to win in a playoff? The answer is obvious. So why do I study teaming? It’s because it’s the way more and more of us have to work today. With 24/7 global fast-paced operations, crazy shifting schedules and ever-narrower expertise, more and more of us have to work with different people all the time to get our work done. We don’t have the luxury of stable teams. Now, when you can have that luxury, by all means do it. But increasingly for a lot of the work we do today, we don’t have that option. One place where this is true is hospitals. This is where I’ve done a lot of my research over the years. So it turns out hospitals have to be open 24/7. And patients — well, they’re all different. They’re all different in complicated and unique ways. The average hospitalized patient is seen by 60 or so different caregivers throughout his stay. They come from different shifts, different specialties, different areas of expertise, and they may not even know each other’s name. But they have to coordinate in order for the patient to get great care. And when they don’t, the results can be tragic.


This talk was presented at an official TED conference, here the link to original page