Google uses Project Aristotle to find the roots of an effective group.

By Morgan Bittengle

Google wanted to break down what made a group or team of employees so effective in their projects. In order to do this they started “Project Aristotle”. Project Aristotle studied over 100 work teams within Googles company to find some answers. It took a few years to do so, but in the end they were able to find some results.

Ultimately, the purpose of Project Aristotle was to find out what makes the perfect team. They looked at different types of people put into groups together. Some groups consisted of strong-minded individuals who liked to get straight to the point and finish their work right away while other groups had members who liked to get personal and chat about other topics as well as the actual work topic.

The findings were very interesting to me. They found out that when people go to work they don’t want to have to put on a “work face”, they want to be able to be themselves in their work environment and not have to change their personality. I was happy to hear this, because I feel the same way about my personality and how I would want to be in the workplace. Sakaguchi, a leader in the Google workplace who has stage 4 cancer, describes that “By putting things like empathy and sensitivity into charts and data reports, it makes them easier to talk about” (Duhigg, 2016). It just helps employees feel more comfortable when they know they have coworkers who are there to support and comfort them personally and work related.

5-reasons-google-is-the-best-place-to-work-in-america-and-no-other-company-can-touch-it
Employees at Google are able to meet and work on projects together in a casual manner. http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-the-best-company-to-work-for-in-america-2016-4

Based off of the results, when forming an effective team it isn’t as much about the individual and how much they know, but about how the team meshed and worked together. The researchers looked into qualitative and quantitative data to narrow down the groups and their results showed that it counts more to have members who work well with each other. They found five important qualities that were needed in the group. Those qualities were: Psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact. When each individual in a group shows these qualities, it makes it much easier to work together and mesh, resulting in an effective and efficient group. In another blog post, Quartz,  about Google and their Project Aristotle, it is said that “the best teams respect one another’s emotions and are mindful that all members should contribute to the conversation equally” (Mohdin, 2016).

I believe that the qualities are accurate when it comes to evaluating a groups effectiveness. However, I also believe there may also be qualities that weren’t mentioned that are just as important. For example, discipline id a big one for me because even if you may not be the smartest or the strongest, if you are discipline you will stick it out and do all that you can to finish out what you started and succeed.

An example of a time where I was part of an effective team was for a class project I had at Ashland University. We had to write a paper and think of solutions to a specific problem. We collaborated together and everyone was able to have some type of input. We then all did part of the paper, in which every member finished early so that we were able to mesh it all together and proofread. We then solved the problem by relating it to our personal lives and thinking how we overcame certain issues. We were effective because we were discipline in our work. We also found solutions based off personal experiences we shared with each other, which was on of the most successful things we did, in my opinion.

After the results and findings of this study, I would definitely take them into consideration when I am in a group leadership position. I feel like it is crucial for a group to mesh well and care about each other on a personal level in order to truly be successful in whatever it is that they are doing. Googles, Project Aristotle, will help a lot of companies and people in the future by showing the public their findings and offering advice and ways of effectiveness when it comes to a successful group in the workplace.

 

References

Duhigg, C. (2016, February 25). What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?_r=1

Re:Work – Guide: Understand team effectiveness. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2016, from https://rework.withgoogle.com/guides/understanding-team-effectiveness/steps/introduction/

Mohdin, A. (2016, February 26). After years of intensive analysis, Google discovers the key to good teamwork is being nice. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://qz.com/625870/after-years-of-intensive-analysis-google-discovers-the-key-to-good-teamwork-is-being-nice/

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