Checkered Flag Teams

What people say about Checkered Flag Teams: Driving Your Workplace Into the Winner's Circle 

 A Toolkit for Teams


In today's increasingly complex business environment, "speed" has become the mantra of successful organizations.  The ability to learn and adapt to changing conditions more quickly than the competition is what separates the winners from the losers.  In their book, Checkered Flag Teams, Renée Merchant and Jo Ellen Roe capture the centrality of speed in the modern business environment by creatively building their presentation of team development around an auto racing theme.  The auto racing theme also provides an interesting juxtaposition by demonstrating the importance of teamwork in a sport that to an outsider seems more of an individual endeavor.

 The primary strength of the book is that it is based on a theoretically eloquent and easy-to-understand model of teamwork.  I have never been overly fond of Tuckman's model of team development because it focuses too heavily on the social dynamics of teams while ignoring the crucial element of the tasks that the team was created to accomplish.  The authors' model of team development (presented on page 31), however, corrects this weakness by providing a convincing case for the need to balance task and process issues in team development. 

 The more obvious strength of the book is that it provides a number of "tools" for developing effective teams.  These team activities are indexed early in the book, so you can quickly locate just the activity that you need.  The instructions and rationale for each activity are precise and easy to follow, so that even novice team leaders should be able to employ them successfully.  In addition, most of the team activities are fairly brief and to the point which makes them perfect for teams on the move. 

 I especially recommend the book for teams that are just getting started, as it provides an excellent toolkit for getting teams off to good start.  Though it also provides a nice reference for team leaders in any field who are working to develop their team facilitation skills or are just looking for some creative new team building activities. 

 Steve Long

Organizational Development Consultant

Fab 17 Manufacturing



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