Amber King is a fan of team self-selection, which, in her experience, yields happier, more empowered, more productive teams. Amber shares her story working at Opower where the company decided to do an experiment: the goal would be to do what’s best for the company, but individuals get to choose what they work on and with whom. The experience was positive and powerful for the company, where 40 people took two and a half hours to form 6 teams.
Amber advocates for allowing time for the questions and concerns that will arise, including fear of being picked last. But Amber doesn’t find that to happen: “You’re picking yourself, you’re not getting picked.” The goal is “getting people to the point where it’s safe enough to try.” Amber also provides some tips for running a successful team self-selection event as well as a clear business case for letting team members choose each other and themselves, including: less work for already bogged-down managers; fewer unhappy teams; and happier, more productive teams.