August 7, 2019

63: Creating a Team Playbook with Millie Blackwell

Employee handbooks are typically filled with procedural information, legal requirements and company policies. They provide an important function, but aren’t typically fun to read. Nor do they incorporate concepts for how the team will work together to build a positive environment in which people thrive and great work gets done.

Building off the idea of an employee handbook, this week’s guest created a Team Playbook which clarifies how the team will collaborate in a playful yet articulate manner.

Millie Blackwell is the CEO and Co-Founder of Showcase Workshop, a digital toolkit for sales representatives that contains presentation slides, videos, price lists and brochures, replacing old fashioned ring binders and printed collateral.

Millie and I talk about this brilliant Team Playbook she developed for her company which provides guidance for how the team communicates, collaborates, and much more.

Read the related blog article: Enhancing Collaboration with a Team Playbook

Join the Modern Manager community to get a copy of the Team Playbook which you can use as a reference for your Team Playbook! Plus, join before August 12th and you get entered to win one of 5 copies of The Boomerang Principle from guest Lee Caraher of episode 61.

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  • The Team Playbook is part of a series of documents that provide guidance for how people engage. It focuses on the “heart” of the business and the team.
  • It includes the company mission and vision, the brand story, the team members, roles and responsibilities, communication methods and practices, and more.
  • The Team Playbook should reflect the tone and culture of your organization. It can be playful, humorous, elegant, etc.
  • Meetings are a strategic tool for communication, not a default. Before scheduling a meeting, consider what other ways the information can be shared/gathered.
  • Develop or articulate your norms for each mode of communication. For example, should task request be made in Slack? By email? Via your collaborative task system?
  • After three rounds of back-and-forth on email, if an issue still isn’t resolved, pick up the phone.
  • Different personalities have different preferences for communication modes. Some people prefer to talk things through over the phone while others prefer to read an email and have time to compose a response.
  • Consider an org chart that visualizes the roles or responsibilities (rather than the people) as the structural framework. Then the people’s names are added into the boxes which they manage.
  • This type of org chart enables everyone to quickly grasp who is responsible for what. It helps illuminate who might be spread too thin, who has overlapping responsibilities, and where the team may want to invest in adding capacity.




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