How to Foster Team Success

2017 Drupalcon Baltimore


Mike Miles

Genuine (

Dev(up); (

All the internet places: mikemiles86

Successful teams

The metrics that measure team success are universal. Successful teams are those that display these three(3) attributes:

  • Deliver value
  • Manage time
  • Maximize skillsets

Effective team members

Teams that foster success are composed of members who strive to be as effective as possible. Effective team members embody these four(4) traits

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Positivity
  4. Responsibility

Who here wants their team to be successful?

You cannot force change in other people.

People only make positive changes when they are ready to do so. You cannot force your team members to become more effective. You cannot force your team to foster attributes for success

You can inspire change in other people

You can change and improve yourself. You have the ability (right now) to become a better team member. You can be the embodiment of an effective team member and in doing so inspire your team members to become better.

What we are going to talk about today

  • Understanding how effective team members lead to team success.
  • Examples of successful, effective teams.
  • Steps you can take to inspire your team.


Effective communication

  • Removes barriers between team members
  • Prevents wasted time on miscommunication
  • Allows for understanding goals

Example: Long haul flight crew

A long haul flight crew meet for the first time hours before a flight. They need to be able to quickly and clearly communicate with each other and with passengers. Time cannot be wasted on miscommunications. They are great at building an environment of clear, open communication.

How to foster communication

  • Be an Active Listener
  • Ask questions
  • Overcommunicate

As you build an environment of effective communication your team becomes inspired to start listening to each other, share ideas, and work towards a common goal.

Team members open up, listen and share.


Effective collaboration

  • Promotes sharing of ideas
  • Reduces redundencies and duplication
  • Allows for solving bigger problems

The ATLAS Experiment

The ATLAS detector at CERN

The ATLAS experiment is a collaboration of over 3,000 scientific minds. The group promotes self organization, sharing of responsibilities, extensive peer reviews and mandatory sharing of discoveries. If one subset of scientists do not share their findings, time, effort and knowledge is lost from the greater good.

How to foster collaboration

  • Share knowledge
  • Create opportunities
  • Offer & ask for help

As you foster collaboration your team is inspired to work with each other instead of along side each other. Allowing them to accomplish tasks greater than an individual could.

Team members share ideas and work together.


Effective positive mindset

  • Uses negitives as a driver
  • Reaffirms team confidence
  • Keeps team focused on goals

The Goonies

the goonies

The goonies, a group of young kids trying to save their homes by locating a hidden pirate treasure. Along the way they face multiple obstacles; Murderous thieves, deadly booby-traps and impossible odds. However they never give up, "Goonies never say die.". They know that as a team they can beat any odds and succeed.

How to foster positivity

  • Highlight accomplishments
  • Foster a "can do" attitude
  • Trust the team

As you promote a positive mindset within your team they are inspired to see challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities to accomplish great things.

Team members see challenges as opportunities.


Effective responsibility

  • Promotes the goals of the team over the individual
  • Shares successes and setbacks
  • Affirms that every team member matters

Redbull F1 Racing Pit Crew

The Redbull F1 Racing pit crew

The Redbull F1 Racing pit crew can get a racecar through a pit stop in under 2 seconds. Each member of the crew knows that their individual task directly impacts the teams ability to succeed and be the best.

How to foster responsibility

  • Adopt an ownership mindset
  • Be accountable
  • Share and promote success

As you foster responsibility within your team believes that for person to succeed the whole team must success.

Team success becomes individual success.


Identifying team distractors

  • Focuses on negatives within the team
  • Constantly "battles" with team members
  • Works toward goals opposite of team

How to overcome team distractors

  • Communicate and ask insightful questions
  • Encourage involvement with the team
  • Remind them of team accomplishments
  • Foster within them team ownership

Foster team success by focusing on:

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration
  3. Positivity
  4. Responsibility

Inspiration snowballs


When you embody the team member you want to see, you will inspire change within your team members. That inspiration grows and spreads among the team, allowing them to become successful.

Inspiration snowballs

This presentation
Annotated presentation slides
Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker
ATLAS Experiment at CERN
Redbull F1 Pitcrew
Taking People with You by David Novak
The Four Attributes of a Great Development Team




Thank You!