BOOK REVIEW: Turning People Into Teams by David Sherwin and Mary Sherwin

Turning People Into Teams

BOOK REVIEW: Turning People Into Teams
by David Sherwin and Mary Sherwin


ABOUT THE BOOKS (from Amazon):

Collaborative strategies work when they’re designed by teams—where each person is heard, valued, and held accountable. This book is a practical guide for project team leaders and individual contributors who want their teams to play by a better set of rules.

Today’s teams want more alignment among their members, better decision-making processes, and a greater sense of ownership over their work. This can be easy, even fun, if you have the right rituals.

Rituals are group activities during which people go through a series of behaviors in a specific order. They give teams the ability to create a collective point of view and reshape the processes that affect their day-to-day work. In Turning People into Teams, you’ll find dozens of practical rituals for finding a common purpose at the beginning of a project, getting unstuck when you hit bottlenecks or brick walls, and wrapping things up at the end and moving on to new teams.

Customizable for any industry, work situation, or organizational philosophy, these rituals have been used internationally by many for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. By implementing just a few of these rituals, a team can capture the strengths of each individual for incredible results, making choices together that matter.

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While Turning People Into Teams is not a one-size-fits-all guide (more on that in a bit), it’s packed with actionable tips and so-called “rituals” that can make your team not just productive, but also cohesive and forward-thinking.

So, What’s It About?

This book focuses on the importance of creating “rituals” within a team to encourage communication, establish trust, and drive innovation. We’re talking about practices that get team members to really open up, collaborate, and deliver. It’s laid out in a straightforward way, breaking down various challenges you may face and offering solutions.

The Good Stuff: The Sherwins get straight to the point. No fluff, just actionable advice that you can implement without needing a PhD in Management. Turning People Into Teams ditches the boring, everyday routines for rituals that are way more engaging. I actually flagged a few that I plan on integrating into my own team meetings.

The Caveats: While the book is packed with insights, it leans heavily toward tech and project-based teams. Those of us in other sectors like marketing might not find every ritual applicable. And in a world where remote work is more common, the book could have included more rituals tailored for virtual teams.

I gave this book 4 stars. It’s not the end-all guide for every team out there, but it’s got some golden nuggets that could be helpful for most teams. If you’re in tech or manage a project-based team, I think you’ll get even more out of it.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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