Dan is Creative director for User experience architecture and Content Design at the BBC. He leads a team of information architects who are committed to making the BBC’s tools, content and experiences more meaningful and connected. He’s also helping to establish the content design and UX writing discipline at the BBC. Both roles give him plenty of opportunities for understanding and improving how teams work, getting the most from specialist disciplines and working with people who inform and inspire his own practice every day. He lives just outside Sheffield (UK) with a wife, a child and a cat called Rosa.
I've been leading teams at the BBC for over seven years. I've been researching and developing my skills and practice as a leader for that time. But when the world changed due to Covid-19, it afforded a chance to take a further step back and consider assumptions I'd made. It also gave me a chance to think about the changes that the new circumstances demanded. In this talk I'll share what I've learnt about teams over the last 10 years, what I've learned in the last six months and how we might change how we "team" in the future.
One reason that a good team will deliver value greater than the sum of the parts is that a team is a thing in and of itself. Teams offer multiple benefits – a multiplicity of perspectives, a broader skillset, greater levels of accountability, examples from which to learn. And whether you're "in a team" or not, you will inevitably have to collaborate with teams.
But "teams" require intentional design and maintenance - even when they're self-organising groups. In this talk I'll share models and give concrete examples of how collaboration leads to better results but brings additional considerations to projects and challenges.
Throughout my design leadership career I've been fortunate to work with teams in shared physical environments. I've also worked with teams split across sites – but working within the same broad organisational context. And I've now experienced some of the adaptation required for dispersed teaming – at a time of extreme stress and uncertainty. I'll be sharing my research and experience which can inform teaming efforts in all of these contexts. So whether you're an individual practitioner or part of a team there should be something in this talk for you.