Review Tribal Unity

51UbcHSbHHLEm Campbell-Pretty is the author of Tribal Unity – Getting from Teams to Tribes by Creating a One Team Culture.

Birds flock, fish swim, people ‘tribe’” – David Logan

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea” – Seth Godin. Em’s first tribe is her EDW Agile Release Train, a team of teams in line with SAFe.

The book is broken into six sections.

In the first section we explore how to build great teams in order to create a solid foundation for a great tribe. Topics like team size, self-selection, delegation poker, using retrospective on cadence, visualization, daily communication, having a social contract and where possible be co-located are explained.

In the second section we get a lot of techniques for connecting teams and creating tribes to build a one team Culture. What’s the value of a shared identity? Strengthen the connection between and aligning the teams in the tribe by organizing unity hour and a daily cocktail hour. Visualizing the tribes work and maintaining the connection between team members by using chapters and guilds. Celebrate successes and share failures with the whole tribe and implement tribal kaizen rituals.

Section 3 puts the leader in the spotlight and explains ways to connect the leader with the tribe. A successful tribe leader needs to participate in the change they are leading. The leader needs to facilitate training, coaching, time and space to innovate, create connections by spending time at the Gemba and create a safe environment and build a strong team of lieutenants. They cultivate Love, generate Energy, inspire Audacity and provide Proof (LEAP).

In section 4 we get techniques to connect the tribe with an idea. The idea must generate the energy, provides alignment and helps the tribe pull together in times of crises. As a tribe leader you have to believe in, commit to and share your idea and communicate, and communicate and communicate. Book clubs, unity hours and cocktails hours can be leveraged to help to increase awareness of your vision.

Section 5 explores ways for sustaining tribal unity by monitoring the tribe’s health by using an employee Net Promotor Score (eNPS), use storytelling to remind your tribe of where it came from and reinforce your tribe’s values, be disciplined about your tribe’s rituals and values. And finally develop a team of potential successors.

The last section gives food for thought to engage management in tribal unity.

In the appendix we get The tribal unity checklist to give you a jump start when building your own tribe.

Conclusion: A must read when building up team of teams (a tribe, an Agile Release Train, …). The book is practical, inspiring and energizing. You get a lot techniques, real life examples and references to helpful books, articles on the web, videos and many, many quotes. I add one: “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion” – African proverb

To order: Tribe unity

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