How to improve teams no matter what stage they’re in

Will Larson shares some interesting perspectives on teams in the interview How to Size and Assess Teams From an Engineering Lead at Stripe, Uber, and Digg:

Larson believes that the fundamental challenge — and cornerstone — of organizational design is sizing teams. “The most powerful unit of work is a gelled team. People who know how to work together and are practiced at working together can accomplish truly remarkable things,” says Larson. “When managers design too literally around the current product or architecture, they churn people and lose what I think is the only truly renewable source of energy in the world: people who really love — and know how — to work together.”

He goes on to describe four states a team can be in — falling behind, treading water, repaying debt, and innovating — and the best way to improve teams that are in each of those stages.