Tools4AgileTeams 2022 – Keynote – Interpersonal Alchemy and the Magic Behind High-performing Teams – Mark Cruth

Meet Mark Cruth. He is an Atlassian evangelist and modern work designer. But, as his typical working day draws to a close and the night draws in, he disappears off to his secret laboratory as every good mad scientist does. Mark's passion is alchemy, but not the transmuting lead to gold kind, Marks's alchemy is more specialized. He helps convert good teams into great teams.

This presentation was part of the Tools4AgileTeams (T4AT) event from Seibert Media. Mark, in his presentation, discusses what makes a great team. He digs into the Agile and SAFe working practices and cultures to discover why some teams excel and others don't. His findings may surprise you. We all have our own ideas on how to help a team succeed. Unfortunately, only some projects run smoothly, and as difficulties arise, most organizations resort to throwing resources at a team. But as Mark explains in this video, there are better solutions.

His presentation steers away from the tools we use but concentrates more on how teams work. The human factor, so to speak. He also focuses on how if we stand back to look at our workflows and person-to-person interactions, we may find bottlenecks. His technique is discovery, asking the most basic questions about issues we all take for granted, and some of these questions may take individuals out of their comfort zones. In this video, Mark explains how this can be done.

Tools4AgileTeams 2022 - Interpersonal Alchemy and the Magic Behind High-performing Teams - Mark Cruth - ingredients and results for game called delegation poker

The presentation is peppered with real-life case studies and shows how many diverse businesses, when facing tough times, rise to the challenge and move mountains. Mark shows us that there is no room for ego in successful teams, it is a team effort, and everyone should view the end result not as a personal reflection of their skills and contributions but more as how they helped others improve their game. It is the old joke, "there is no I in the word TEAM, but if you look closely, you will see there is a ME!

It also offers several suggestions on how to kick-start a team's alchemy or, more succinctly, how to do that initial analysis and what steps to take next.

So sit back and let the mad professor guide you through interpersonal alchemy and see what steps you can take to help your team realize its full potential. 

Further Reading