Extraordinary Groups - Review

Extraordinary Groups - Review

What all know that what is referred to as “soft skills” is generally the hardest and most important part of business.

Geoffrey Bellman and Kathleen Ryan authored the book Extraordinary Groups where they get to the core of “soft skills” that lead to breakthrough results.

Consider the top two most admired companies in the world – Apple & Google. How did they begin? With a small team of highly motivated people who focused on a passion.

In Extraordinary Groups Geoffrey Bellman and Kathleen Ryan highlight that it isn’t big corporations that come up with the major breakthroughs, but small high performing groups. They state that, “we discovered that extraordinary groups are widely known, seldom studied, and people want more of them.” Hence, they conducted research on the topic and share their findings.

Key Points

Most people have similar basic needs. These include:

    • Acceptance: To be accepted
    • Potential: For others to see our potential
    • Bonding: To connect with the others
    • Purpose: To be focused with others on a noble, exciting purpose
    • Reality: To fully understand the reality so the best solution can be created
    • Impact: To see the positive impact of the group

The authors’ write that, extraordinary groups exhibit:

    • A compelling purpose that inspires and stretches members to make the group and its work a top priority
    • Shared leadership that encourages members to take mutual responsibility for helping the group be successful
    • Just-enough-structure to create confidence to move forward, but not so much as to become bureaucratic or burdensome
    • Full engagement that results in all members jumping in with enthusiasm, sometimes passionately and chaotically, regardless of role
    • Embracing differences so that group members see, value, and use their diversity as a strength
    • Unexpected learning that translates into personal and group growth
    • Strengthened relationships among members characterized by trust, collegiality, and friendship
    • Great results, tangible and intangible

Extraordinary Groups - Review

Highlights by David Willden