Book - Creating Great Teams by Sandy Mamoli and David Mole


Sandy and David beautifully introduce self-selection concept. Self-selection is a facilitated process of letting people self-organize into small, cross-functional teams. This is a process used to set up self-organizing teams. People take more responsibility for their own decisions than made by others. Therefore self-selection process should be considered over management selection, or 5 You’s (We will form a new team. You, you, you, you and you :) ) When you treat people like adults, they act that way.

Key takeaways

  • Stable teams are up to 60% more productive Stable teams don’t have to repeatedly go through forming, storming, norming and performing.
  • Being allocated 100% to one team reduces stress
  • Dunbar’s number People cannot maintain a social relationship with more than 150 people.
  • Designing a team doesn’t mean picking the best people but rather deciding on the best combination of people based on their skills, preferences, and personalities.
  • People charged with repetitive and boring tasks are best incentivized by monetary rewards.
  • The four main aspects of work: when they do it, how they do it, who they do it with, and what they do.
  • Don’t specify the outcome before you start
  • People are not plug compatible resources
  • Worse than management selection is a fake version of self-selection where people are led to believe they have a choice.
  • Lean Coffee Agenda-less meetings, where the topics for discussion are established by the squad itself.
  • Team building by Journey Lines Drawing a graph representing the journey of their career and/or private life.
  • Personal relationships matter Participants make decisions almost exclusively based on who they want to work with / don’t want to work.
  • Improving productivity doesn’t create success It’s possible to run faster in the wrong direction.
  • Self-selection honors the principle of trusting people to solve complex problems and stepping back to enable them to organize in the way that’s best for themselves and the organization.


  • Creating Great Teams
  • Journey Lines

I'm Valdas Maksimavicius. I write about data, cloud technologies and personal development. You can find more about me here.