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When Bad Teams Happen to Good People
Your Complete Repair Guide for Successful Teamwork
Author Valerie Patrick, PhD.
ISBN: 9781632651822
Book (Paperback)
Red Wheel Weiser, Career Press
6 x 9
256 pages
July 1, 2021


“In the crowded field of team effectiveness, Dr. Patrick offers clear-sighted direction on such key topics as facilitating team functioning, building high performance teams, managing complex tasks, and strategic decision-making. A highly readable book to help you grasp what is needed for greater self-care and self-awareness in today’s business context, while giving you the practical skills and tools needed to fix bad teams and design great ones. Highly recommended!”

Chris Laszlo, PhD, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University and author of Quantum Leadership

“Valerie Patrick takes all who want to run or be part of a high functioning team but 'don't quite know the best formula to get there' on a comprehensive but utterly readable journey of personal anecdotes, practical tools and common-sense advice. When Bad Teams Happen to Good People is a must have for anyone intent on at least trying to understand the challenges.”

Nick Hamon PhD, CEO, IVCC (Innovative Vector Control Consortium)

"Valerie Patrick shares her own learning journey with candor and clarity. She provides practical, evidence-based guidance for all of us who work with teams and aspire to making a meaningful contribution to a more just, sustainable future.”

Beatrice Briggs, certified professional facilitator, founder and director of the International Institute for Facilitation and Change (

“This book outlines tools to develop revised teamwork models that can accommodate challenges associated with fast changing times.”

Dr. Devinder Mahajan, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Chemical & Molecular Engineering, Stony Brook University

When Bad Teams Happen to Good People is a masterclass in how individuals can and must maximize team performance at a time when teams are indispensable to organizational performance. Read this book if you want your teams to go far faster.”

Charles (Chad) O. Holliday, Jr., CEO East Meets West Solutions and Former Chairman of Bank of America

"When Bad Teams Happens to Good People acts as a comprehensive reference manual for all who seek team-based productivity and satisfaction. Dr. Patrick conveys proven structured methods for team improvement, backed by science and illuminated by meaningful experiences drawn from her years of experience as a business leader and facilitator."

Gary Fedder, PhD, Howard M. Wilkoff Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University

When Bad Teams Happen to Good People is literally jammed full of information, supported by research, and associated with very practical tools and suggestions for concrete steps a leader could actually take to address the issues. Time devoted to reading this will be time well spent, and it's a book you will want to keep around to go back and reference again and again.”

Anita Williams Woolley, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University

“This timely book provides readers with a new way of thinking about work and survival strategies for those who find themselves on bad teams. The author begins with the mantra that one should know and take care of oneself, and includes a handy wellness assessment in the first chapter. Patrick uses the rest of the text to help readers handle the growing, complex problems businesses face. She tackles issues like productivity, roles, and responsibilities and delivers new insights on meeting design. Readers who are looking for a playbook that can help them to understand and develop soft skills needed for teamwork will be eager to have a copy nearby. This will also appeal to new workers, teachers, and those in MBA programs.”—Booklist
The teamwork troubleshooter we all need! Turn your team into a cohesive unit.

“This timely book provides readers with a new way of thinking about work and survival strategies for those who find themselves on bad teams. Readers who are looking for a playbook that can help them to understand and develop soft skills needed for teamwork will be eager to have a copy nearby.”—Booklist

Why do some team members not get along? What is the best way to get new teams and ad-hoc teams to maximize their performance in the least amount of time? How can meetings be designed to achieve useful outcomes?

Teams are the source of problem-solving and innovation that today’s organizations need to survive and thrive in an increasingly complex and challenging marketplace.

Teamwork is hard because there is no magic formula or step-by-step procedure to ensure results. Think of a programmer asked to develop new features for a cell phone: they write new code, test the code, troubleshoot problems encountered, revise the code, and repeat the testing process until the new features work without problems. Similarly, a team leader asked to deliver specified outcomes develops a plan, runs team meetings, troubleshoots problems encountered, revises the plan, and repeats until the team outcomes are achieved. The difference is that a programmer has tools to help streamline troubleshooting, while team leaders do not—until now.

Valerie Patrick applies a troubleshooting mindset that includes:

  • Proven tactics for team members and leaders to address leadership problems

  • Guidelines for recruiting and changing teams for optimum performance

  • Techniques to identify and address aspects of team climate that are limiting the productivity of one or more team members

  • Examples of effective ways to operate teams and of meeting designs that produce transformative outcomes

Dr. Valerie Patrick, President of Fulcrum Connection LLC, is a facilitator, leadership trainer, and professional speaker. Dr. Patrick is a PhD chemical engineer with 25 years of corporate experience leading technical and strategic initiatives to identify and deliver new sources of organizational value at Bayer and Monsanto. Dr. Patrick has over 10,000 hours of corporate experience as a team leader and is a Certified Creative Problem Solving Facilitator through the Creative Problem Solving Group.
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