Teaming – How Organizations Learn, innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

By Felix Ankel, MD

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Competency-based medical education is moving away from medical knowledge as a sole focus towards a set of competencies with associated milestones.  Many of these competencies involve working within a health care team.
Imagine focusing on “teaming” as a discipline (with associated abilities) rather than “team” as a noun (i.e. static description of a group).  In the first chapter, Teaming discusses a “process knowledge spectrum” that categorizes practice environments according to uncertainty (e.g. routine, complex, innovative).  Teaming is a dynamic way of working in continuously changing teams that allows for maximal flexibility, coordination, and collaboration for success in various contexts.  Effective teams have as a primary attribute “execution-as-learning”, where learning occurs during rather than after execution.  This team based discipline serves as a practical parallel to complement reflection-in-action behaviors for skilled individual practitioners.  Teams that encourage everyone to speak up, ask questions, and share ideas often learn as they execute.  In subsequent chapters, the author discusses teaming concepts such as leadership actions that promote teaming, cognitive frames, psychological safety, the importance of failure, and teaming across boundaries.  This book is well organized and an easy read.  It will be of special interest of readers that are interested in social learning and eusociality.

Special thanks to Rob Cooney (@EMEducation) for recommending this book

Reference – Rolfe G. Rethinking reflective education: What would Dewey have done? Nurse Education Today. 2014 34(8) 1179-83.