How To Create A Teamwork Culture

David Burkus
5 min readJun 27, 2022

Teamwork may indeed make the dream work, but teams that lack a teamwork culture can be a nightmare. Pick your sport, and you can find a professional team that focused on acquiring talented players but failed to get the results their bulging salary budget should have brought. And the reason teams of star players fail more often than they should most often comes down to culture. Or at least, that those star players don’t want to be part of a team-oriented culture. Instead, they want to shine on their own.

The same is true of many organizations. Research suggests that just trying to capture talent while ignoring teamwork culture often leads to star performers failing to perform up to expectations. Culture makes the difference.

In this article, we’ll review how to create a teamwork culture so that your team can ignore this fate.

Hold Huddles

The first way to create a teamwork culture is to hold huddles. If teams are going to collaborate well, they need to “work out loud.” They need to ensure that everyone on the team is aware of what others on the team are doing, and where they can help. A great framework for a huddle, which can be a daily standing meeting or a weekly “sync up,” comes from the original Agile Software “scrum” questions: What did I just complete? What am I focused on next? What’s blocking my progress. These three questions give a short but powerful update on the team’s progress, its focus for the future, and any areas where team members need help. A big part of teamwork culture is helping, and huddles help teammates help each other.

Find Uncommon Commonalities

The second way to create a teamwork culture is to find uncommon commonalities. These are the things that individual teammates have in common with other teammates, that are uncommon to the rest of the team or company. It may seem odd, building a teamwork culture by encouraging people to find things in common with just one teammate. But research suggests that uncommon commonalities are the beginnings of friendships and bonds. And people with friends on their team are more likely to be committed and engaged with the whole team. The best way to help find uncommon commonalities is to do nothing at all-meaning to take advantage of unstructured moments in…

David Burkus

Author of BEST TEAM EVER | Keynote Speaker | Organizational Psychologist | Thinkers50 Ranked Thought Leader |

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