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6th Leading Edge Consortium Offered Education and Insight Into High-Performance Teams

The 2010 LEC, “Developing and Enhancing High-Performance Teams,” brought out some of the best and brightest in the teamwork field this weekend at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in sunny Tampa, Florida!
Chaired by Gary Latham, with co-chairs Deb Cohen and Scott Tannenbaum, the 2010 LEC was a weekend full of excellent speakers, informative presentations, and numerous opportunities to participate in the discussion of high-performance teams.
Participants heard from 11 speakers on topics ranging from virtual teams and team debriefs to shared team leadership and teamwork in healthcare both in the United States and the United Kingdom. Attendees came from across the United States and the world, with some traveling as far as France, South Korea, Chile, and the United Kingdom to attend the event.
The event received positive feedback from attendees, new and returning alike.
“I’ve never attended an LEC before, and I wanted to see what goes on here,” said SIOP Fellow and President-Elect Adrienne Colella. “I’ve heard wonderful things about it, and everything everyone has said is true. The energy is fantastic. People are really networking and getting to talk to each other in small groups, really getting to interact with the management gurus and the top-notch researchers who are doing work in the area.”
The successful practitioner speed-mentoring event that was held at the 25th annual conference was also held in conjunction with the LEC this year, providing an easy way for attendees to also get some mentoring in during their stay. The event was held Thursday night before the LEC welcome reception. At the event, attendees participated in roundtable discussions with seasoned professionals on predetermined topics of interest, giving them an opportunity to seek guidance, knowledge, and wisdom from mentors who have “been there and done that.”
The LEC kicked off with a keynote address on  Overcoming Silent Barriers to Team Performance: The Role of Organizational Learning in Shaping the Context for Team Performance and Commitment by SIOP Fellow Michael Beer, chairman and founder of TruePoint, a research-based management consultancy, and Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, emeritus, at the Harvard Business School. During his presentation, Beer stressed the fact that these barriers, such as unclear strategy and values and an ineffective senior team, are clearly identified by organizations but are not discussed within them. He then outlined ways organizations can confront and remedy these barriers.
“We call them the silent killers,” Beer said. “Like cholesterol and hypertension, they can cause organizational heart attacks.”
The program featured two panel presentations Friday afternoon, “Leadership and Team Effectiveness” and “Competencies, Composition, and Debriefing,” as well as two “applications” sessions on Saturday, “Virtual Teams and Team Training/Simulation” and “Teamwork in Medical and Health Care Settings.”
These as well as the other sessions received positive feedback from first-time attendees as well as LEC veterans for their content as well as the opportunity for participation and discussion.
“I always come to the consortium because it is at the cutting edge of the best research in I-O psychology,” said SIOP Member Wendy Becker. “I see my friends, both applied and academic, and I always get such great material to bring back to my job.”
SIOP Member Edward Pavur said he enjoyed the in-depth nature of the consortium and its focus on a specific topic in the field.
“Everybody’s in the same session,” he noted. “We all get a common experience, and we can talk throughout the sessions on what we’ve learned. You just get a more in-depth experience, and I am really glad I came.”  

In addition to the general sessions, attendees participated in a best practices breakout group discussion, which offered them a chance to compare team needs and best practices with other participants. After discussing the topic of their interest in small groups, the attendees shared notes via posters that were displayed in the main meeting room the following day.  

Before breaking into small groups to enjoy the popular “networking dinners” at a choice of six Tampa-area restaurants Friday night, attendees also enjoyed a reception and the beautiful weather on the outdoor patio of the Hyatt. 

During several coffee breaks throughout the consortium, attendees also got the chance to discuss the sessions with other attendees and further their discussions with presenters.
(Photos: top left, keynote speaker and SIOP Fellow Richard Hackman poses with Carlos Valdes-Dapena during a coffee break. Top right, attendees Gary Patrick, Daniel Lahner, and Matthew Prewett take time out to catch up and discuss the morning’s presentations.) 

SIOP Fellow Richard Hackman gave the closing keynote address Saturday on the topic of shared team leadership followed by speaker Heidi King, who presented “Using Teamwork to Build a Culture of Safety in Health Care: The DoD Journey.” SIOP Fellow and speaker Michael West concluded the program with his presentation on “I-O Psychology in Health Care Services—the UK National Health Service.”
After thanking the LEC chair and co-chairs and presenting them with tokens of appreciation, SIOP Past President and 2011 LEC Chair Kurt Kraiger announced the theme of next year’s event, “The Virtual Workforce: Building, Connecting, and Leading,” which will take place October 14-15, 2011, at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Kentucky.

We hope to see you next year in Louisville!