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Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  297 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Award-winning entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow reveals the counterintuitive reasons why so many partnerships and groups break down--and why some break through.

The best teams are more than the sum of their parts, but why does collaboration so often fail to fulfill this promise? In Dream Teams, Snow takes us on an adventure through history, neuroscience, psychology,
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Portfolio
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Dream Teams by Shane Snow covers the necessary framework for how and why teams work together by looking at various groups in history and extrapolating the lessons learned. This book is certainly not your dry MBA case study but it also meanders around and jumps around before coming to a point. Looking at the Soviet Union’s premier Olympic hockey team, Pinkerton Detectives, and the traits of individuals like Malcolm X, Andrew Jackson, and others to figure out what characteristics work well ...more
Bob Rich
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a serious work of sociology, but you wouldn’t know from reading it. Rather than being a scholarly (i.e., boring) presentation of research, conclusions and recommendations, it is an intriguing collection of interlaced short stories. Each is a case study that illustrates some point about what builds or destroys teams. They are also fascinating glimpses of history, the best in human nature, and principles of psychology in action.
As you read, you are exposed to a logically organized
Phạm Đăng
Oct 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
Next time your team is stuck in an argument where neither of the sides is willing to compromise, suggest switching sides. If you’re forced to argue for the idea you were arguing against, you’ll find this will not only ease the tension, but also make everyone see the benefits of both ideas more clearly. The right solution won’t be far away.
Ashly Curtis
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I don’t typically seek out non-fiction but read this for a professional development book club I am in. I was so impressed, I actually want to seek out more from this author specifically. This book is not only chock full of insightful information, it’s also a work of art. From the chapter headings to the footnotes, not one single aspect of this book appears to have been done without careful thought. I highly recommend this for anyone who doesn ...more
Mc Kenna
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shane has the rare gift as an author of taking difficult abstract concepts and translating them into an accessible, enjoyable narrative. This book does an excellent job setting up a broad range of readers to read and put down the book with a better understanding and education of the behavioral science that explains what makes a great team function.

The book is filled with great examples and counterpoints to help the reader understand the nuance of how and why great teams come together or don't.

Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars is not enough. This is a book, every time I finished a chapter, I longed to read further: the way of how it is written: full of stories, not a collection of dull written theories. The stories are brilliantly linked to the next one, blended with the theory in a very subtle way. If lifting teams to a higher level is your passion, and you wonder why you do not always succeed, this is a must-read. The fun thing is: while at first, the ideas of Shane Show put in this book seem surprising, ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. As an HR and Diversity and Inclusion professional, this is the sort of book I’m constantly looking for, and though I speak some of the language already, I think it could be accessible for anyone. Educational AND entertaining, inspiring and sobering, I can’t wait to see what else Shane Snow has to say on this and other topics. I would literally recommend this book to anyone.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I would not recommend this book to anyone. There's no substance whatsoever and the series of vignettes don't seem to relate to the title/topic at all. I was excited to read this and picked it up in part because Adam Grant wrote the "afterword" but will now give his blurbs less consideration.
In order to accomplish big things, people often need to come together and work in groups. However, the differences of opinion among the various individuals that comprise those teams can cause friction and lead to abysmal results.

That is the premise of Shane's book Dream Teams. There is a chapter in the book about how humans respond viscerally to narratives and stories, but are usually not moved by hard data and abstract reasoning. Alas, I think he takes this too much to heart, for a reader will
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is excellent. Highly engaging, entertaining, and readable, and full of well-explained big ideas.

The key to great teams, Snow shares, is cognitive diversity. The important ingredient, the thing that gets teams into The Zone, is not peace and harmony and sameness--it's engaging the tension between their perspectives, heuristics, ideas, and differences. He uses the analogy of a rubber band. Unstretched, it lacks potential energy. Stretched too far, it breaks. It has the most ability to achieve
Lost in the stories

Not that I was lost in the stories, but I think the stories overshadowed the main messages for each pass. I skipped a lot of the stories because they were already told before, were already invalidated by other books, or just not engaging.

I spent most of my time flipping, skimming, and looking for something to catch my eye. Sadly, this time through it did not. It's a shame because the interviews I listened to were so much better than the book. If you ever have a chance to hunt
Jessica Betts
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My supervisor let me borrow this book before he'd even read it and now every time I see him I insist he needs to read it too. It's incredibly insightful, changed how I handled working with a co-worker, and I've actually got a new copy on my desk because I like to go back and reference certain things.

One thing I would say is that this book has a heavy focus on hockey in the beginning that I had a hard time getting through, regardless of the way it cleared a path for explaining the point the
Josh Katz
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A delightful read full of succinct stories that cumulatively paint the picture of optimal teamwork. Snow writes of the genesis of Hip Hop and the Wu-Tang Clan, how pirates helped defeat the British in the War of 1812, and plenty more fascinating historical moments to drive home his point. This reminded me of a Gladwell book with a slight business tilt, yet the stories are good enough to make this enjoyable for the masses.
Kelly Watson
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! I heard the author speak at a conference and thought his presentation and this book were extremely clear and insightful. I loved his choice of obscure stories to illustrate his points - it can be so tiring to hear the same examples used over and over for business books and his were definitely not mainstream! Well, researched, and deeply thought through. I look forward to hearing more from this author.

Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No matter who you are or what you role is in life, read this book. Its amazing social psychology thats wrapped in narrative so powerfully you don't realize for much you are learning. Shans is a master story teller and this book is dense with things you can use as a leader, employee, spouse and human to understand how to move teams and groups forward in a positive way.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book breaks down all the ingredients needed to create a dream team. The author has this unique way of illustrating both sides of the coin and how the same virtue can lead to a disaster or success depending on various other factors. It makes you appreciate teamwork and encourages you to develop intellectual humility
Annie Kookie
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t think any of the ideas in this book are novel however Snow has done a wonderful job with anecdotes and his writing is very easy to follow. I felt the book was compelling and I was able to draw a fair amount if information from the book to assist me, including some really good examples of how to apply these things, qualitatively.
Will recommend.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
The book has some good insights considering team collaboration and underlies them with impactful and well researched stories. However, for me, there is not enough density since most of the book elaborates on and further illustrates a few core ideas. Also there were not many new insights and a lot of the concepts have been written about before.
Jillian Switzer
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of the author's first book, Smartcuts, which is what inspired and encouraged me to make big positive changes in my life and career. I didn't find Dream Teams as compelling, but certainly consider it mandatory reading for anyone who works with people, which is to say everyone.
Woo Pei Xun
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Appreciated the theories and framework explored in the book but what I enjoyed most were the various interesting real-life examples that supported them which led me to research after (favourites were Nellie Bly and Kate Warne :))
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Decent read (with examples) on solving one of the key challenges that we face in working together. I would love to see a few thought-provoking guiding principles, in addition to examples, and challenges from day to day corporate environments. I will read it once again and update my review.
Deborah Martinez
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit dry, but these short case studies had some valuable points and made me stop and think how when I disagree with the people I work with, to stop and see if I can see it from their point of view and argue their side.

Reminders throughout the book that nothing great is done alone!

Chelsea Murray
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books about leadership I have read in a long time. This would benefit anybody who collaborates on anything, ever. Very smart and thought provoking ideas, put together in a really enjoyable way.
Joseph Chang
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
falls into trap other nonfiction books do; book could be condensed into 5-page article
Madeline Buhman
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Good stories but not groundbreaking ideas.
Ugochukwu O Eziefule
Good Read

For anyone that has to work with people, which is 99% of the world I highly recommend this book now!
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting book. Filled with anecdotes about how great teams are formed. 3/5 because it's not what i would call ground breaking, but, in some ways reinforces current ideas for better team building.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
It's an interesting read but more focused on creating a good story than educating.

Done interesting stories but they don't all fit the narrative
Rosey Waters
I read a lot of books in this genre, so it takes a lot for me to be like "Oh wow, didn't know that!" And I found myself doing that quite a bit in this one. I love when that happens!

| 2/1/19 147 ratings (47 5*, 54 4*, 39 3*, 4 2*, 3 1*) 18 reviews / added by 918 people, 620 to-reads
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Snow argues that as a team we can be bigger, better and make far more progress than we would by ourselves. Therefore when planning any project the key question is what team of people will begin to reach this vision?; as the right kinds of people with unique points of view will push ideas forward in an innovative way. Examples are given of women in law enforcement and rock climbers, who without brawn have to strategise to achieve the same aims and thus will have developed different heuristics ...more
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