If you were to go and google ‘future teams’ you’d have to look hard to see something that’s not about Microsoft Teams and upcoming features. 
It seems knowing where the chat button is going to be moved to in video conferencing software has somehow become more interesting than how you and those around you will work, laugh, cry, rise and fall together as we face into an ever-more challenging world of work. 
 
I’m not sure about you, but work doesn’t seem the same as it did ten years ago. Possibly not even the same as just a year or two ago. 
 
That said, as far as teams I'm spending time with, I can see change going in the right direction. For instance, there's… 
 
Much more dialogue about what's actually going on at work 
A recognition of the power of inviting people to change, rather than inflicting change 
The focus moving steadily from ‘what’ and ‘how’ to ‘why’ 
Much more scrutiny on, and calling out of, bad practices and behaviours 
A recognition that flexibility helps people, which helps productivity 
A deeper understand of the impact work has on the whole of life experience 
 
So we’re heading in a decent direction. More talk and more action being taken, even if it is often forced upon organisations as a result of outside factors (it’s safe to say the workplace discussion would be nowhere near as active as it is without the small matter of a global pandemic…). 
 
But as can be seen from a quick google search, the focus on the team - the most powerful unit within an organisation - is still lagging behind. We’re still focused on ‘leaders’ as the answer, and on individuals to express their concerns and desires. 
 
This is good insofar as it's moved the conversation on, but we’re missing a huge set of possibilities and potential that’s sat right there in the room. 
 
So, what’s not changed, and needs to? 
 
We’re still fixated on the ‘myth of one’ - that a leader, that some specific job title, some amazingly humble yet focused, driven and creative single person is needed to stand up, create, and set a vision, so everyone else can follow in their wake 
We seemed to have stopped at ‘why’. There’s something more interesting and useful beyond ‘why’ we need to get to: ‘who’ 
We’re still fixated on symptoms not root cause - workplace discussions (remote, office, hybrid, working patterns etc) are still looking for the new normal, the perfect answer, instead of looking at why the discussions are needed (and will continue to happen) 
Beyond ‘team work’ activities, the team doesn’t really get any air space or time to practice and develop the necessary skills and experiences that will help them soar 
We’re limiting growth, potential, and opportunities with formal structures and hierarchies and not respecting and adapting the informal ones that exist whether we like it or not 
Outdated practices espoused and inflicted upon us by the big consultancy companies of Yore still reign supreme as ‘best practice. We need to step over these dangerous models - like shared values, building trust, 7S models and so on - and lean into the experience in the room 
 
We’ve focused a lot on the outside influences on teams,. On the plus side this has kept buzzword generators in business as we go through Great Resignations and create Quiet Quitters. 
 
So we need to focus less on what's going on outside (not ignore it, but I think it's fair to say it's had its moment in the sun), and instead refocus. 
 
The future of teams will only be found from the inside out. 
 
The next organisational revolution won’t happen because of a few individuals. It will happen because of the power, the talent, and the experiments that happen when individuals come together - together as a team.  
 
And then explore.  
 
Together. 
 
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