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Decoding Dream Teams: The Signatures of Collaborative Success in Science and Beyond

Decoding Dream Teams: The Signatures of Collaborative Success in Science and Beyond

DeChurch_Frontiers in ScienceA talk by Professor Leslie DeChurch of the Georgia Tech School of Psychology.

Teams have always spurred important feats of mankind. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin placed the American flag on the moon, but the event was the culmination of years of innovative work by innumerable teams of scientists and engineers. Similar stories abound, heralding the triumphs of human collaboration in settings as varied as disaster response, healthcare delivery, and the creative arts. Equally poignant are the stories of team failure: a team of competent individuals who failed to gel – their conflicts and inability to collaborate setting the stage for disaster. The failure of intelligence teams in the FBI and CIA to anticipate the terrorist attacks of 9-11 or the failure of healthcare teams to stanch the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This talk will report on the latest efforts to decode the structural signatures of teams to decipher the key insights that explain how – and how well – individuals organize in teams and systems of teams.

Leslie DeChurch’s research is being used to improve teams engaged with scientific innovation, military-civil cooperation, humanitarian aid & disaster response, health care, and space exploration. Her research on complex forms of collaboration has been supported by more than $8 Million in extramural funding from NSF, NASA, NIH, ARI, ARO, & ANR (France) including an NSF CAREER award to understand leadership in multiteam systems. She serves on multiple editorial boards, recently served on a National Academy of Science consensus study, and serves on the board of the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup).