Hello and welcome. I'm Elizabeth Luckman. I'm an educator and a coach. I support people seeking to flourish in their personal and professional endeavors. I work as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration here at the Gies College of Business. This is a course about working in teams. Teamwork is ubiquitous, especially in today's world in which problems are complex, and global. It's very unlikely that you can avoid working in teams and even if you don't work in a formally defined team, you definitely have to work with others interdependently to get things done. To create this course, we conducted interviews with various faculty and industry professionals, including former I degrees students. The data collected from these interviews helped us to determine what issues were most important for teams to consider, helped to define the structure of the course. You will be able to hear from these folks as we have woven these perspectives into the videos in a docu course format. You'll hear from myself as well as professors Denise Lewin Loyd and Kari Keating who teach this course along with me and our I degrees program here at Gies. You'll also hear from other Gies faculty who research and teach in various departments throughout the college. You'll hear from Gies leadership, including the dean of the college and our executive associate dean of academic programs. You'll hear from authors, practitioners who've codified their experiences by writing books about leadership. You'll hear from a variety of people in industry, including some alumns of our programs here at Gies, who are working as leaders in different companies, different contexts, and with different experiences. You'll hear from Larry Gies himself. The definition of a team is basically a group of people working together toward a common goal. We'll use that word team throughout the course, but the principles we will discuss also apply to working with people more generally in a variety of capacities both inside and between organizations. One of the questions that often comes up is, can you really teach effective teamwork? It seems messy and difficult. But the answer is that we can teach principles that help us to more effectively work in team environments. Yes, we spend so much time in our courses in business school and otherwise teaching about teamwork. We know that teamwork is one of the top skills that employers are looking for in college graduates at the undergraduate and graduate level. I think teaching teamwork is about having the space and the flexibility to put students in these as real life situations as possible. Then again, teaching students that there's both a task or technical problem to solve that we know that will take up a lot of their time and capacity, but just as important and arguably I think more importantly, is the relationship aspect of teamwork. There's a task aspect and a relationship aspect in teamwork. The relationship aspect takes time to cultivate. That relationship aspect is often the part that can get in the way of effective teamwork. Relationships come from the human elements of teamwork. Humans bring unique assumptions, biases, expectations, and particular styles of behavior into their teams. All of these elements come together to create the culture of a team. That's why this course is focused on team culture. We want to provide the tools for you to build elements of culture that can help your teams do their best work. In May of 2022, the invited commencement speaker here at Gies was Rob Brown. Rob is the CEO of Lincoln International, a graduate of the Gies College of Business, and sits on the board of the dean's business council here in the college. In his speech, Rob focused on, you guessed it, culture at work. I was so excited that I tracked him down after the ceremony and asked if we could use some of his comments to help set up this course for our learners. Let's hear a bit from Rob Brown and his perspective on the value of culture. What were some of the things I wish I understood better about business and career success when I was walking across the podium in Champagne in 1990? The first concept that came to mind was culture. Culture is a word we hear in so many different contexts today that I'm not sure we fully realize how incredibly important it is for success and organizations and business. Business, and you all know this, business is all about people. It's about people collectively working together for a common purpose or success. As such, if an organization does not have a culture that results in attracting, retaining, and gauging top talent at all levels, it will find it extremely hard to compete with organizations that do. There's no one great definition of culture. There's lots of great culture. There's hundreds, if not thousands of derivatives. But common elements of high performance cultures are ones that foster collaboration, open-mindedness, creativity, transparency, diversity, and respect. Great cultures also look to avoid things like micromanagement, politics, and echo chambers. I was in a conversation with an old friend who is a very successful investor. He's a private equity investor. He's literally bought and sold dozens of companies over a very long career. What he said to me, he said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." When I asked him what he meant, he said this. He said, "If I have the choice to invest in a company with a cutting-edge strategy in a toxic culture or a culture of mediocrity versus one with a me too strategy in a highly impactful and dynamic culture, I will invest in the second one every single time." I don't want any of this strategy professors that are listening to this to get nervous. Strategy is critically important. You want to have a good strategy, you need a good strategy. However, what I've learned is that a good strategy is nearly always easier to copy or replicate than a really good culture. What that does is that makes culture are more sustainable competitive advantage. I can tell you in my business, in investment banking and in professional services a whole, there could be no truer statement. Towers and Perrin, which is now part of Willis Towers, Watson was a leading human capital management consultant. In many years ago, they did a study on what drives career satisfaction for college graduates. I know that it will shock all of you, a budding young capitalists here that are listening to this, that it was not compensation, and it was not personal wealth that was the number one factor, it was this, it was working with and for people you respect. That gets to the heart of why culture matters. Culture emerges as a result of people. If we pay attention to the culture, we are paying attention to the people. The more intentional we are about developing the culture we want in our teams, the more effective our teams are likely to be. If culture is valued in an organization, I guarantee you it will be well-defined, it will be measured, and it will be managed too. Other companies are going to have a culture. Every organization is going to have a culture. If you don't do these things, culture will evolve on its own and what will result in are unhealthy subcultures and fiefdoms. If there is no culture statement, you might have half your answer right there as to if culture is valued in that organization. Culture emerges in a team, whether we focus on it or not. Culture is the outcome of every single person and relationship on the team. However, culture is most strongly defined by leaders. A new leader comes into the team, and this can completely change the culture. This is important, look to the leaders. Culture is a direct reflection of leadership. There are many examples of companies, in some cases, very large companies with thousands or hundreds of thousands of employees who make a change in one person, the leader, and the culture of that business looks materially different in a short period of time, often within a year. That can be both positively or negatively. What can you do? Search for publications, speeches, social media posts from leaders of companies. If they're a public company, read the annual letter to investors from the CEO. I guarantee that you will start to understand what elements of cultures are valued or not valued, and do they resonate with you or not resonate with you? If you come to the conclusion that you do not have shared values or a shared vision of a good culture with the leaders, seek employment elsewhere. Remember, working with and for people you respect is critical. In short, culture matters. This is why we focused on culture as the framework for this course. The idea is that leading teams is in part intentionally developing elements of culture that create effective work processes and outcomes. Great leaders understand this. Great leaders do not manage by control, they manage by context. However, you should not be afraid to seek contexts, to seek what you need to know if you're not so lucky to be working for someone who understands this. In summary, always be intellectually curious. Part of the reason there's no magical solution to effective leadership, is because that context culture will always be unique. In this course, we focused on three types of cultures that are foundational to leading effective teams. We're not suggesting that these can be mastered, nor that they all need to be cultivated in the same way at the same time. Rather, there are elements of each of these types of cultures that are going to facilitate better relationships, improved engagement, and the ability to adapt with the changing needs of business. These aren't the only important elements of culture to consider, but they are foundational. I've yet to meet a team in which safety, engagement and growth aren't foundational to that team success. To get the most out of this course, we invite you to consider which elements of culture are most important for your team right now and start experimenting with ways to develop those at work. Culture is an inherent aspect of working with people. It's there whether we pay attention to it or not. Effective leaders work to craft a culture that allows the members of the team to bring their best selves to work, and that facilitates effective and ethical problem-solving. For leaders, an important aspect of leading teams is being intentional about the type of culture we want to foster at work, and working consistently to evolve in that direction. Thank you for trusting us to lead you through this course. Leading teams, building effective cultures.