Jonathan Silk, Ph.D.
● Bachelor of Liberal Studies Louisiana State University (Alexandria Campus)
● M.B.A. University of Texas at Dallas
● M.A. Learning Technologies Pepperdine University
● Ph.D. Pepperdine University
Why are you passionate about creating Thriving Teams?
I’ve talked to hundreds of leaders and team members about the factors that made their teams effective. Team thriving was a central theme in those stories. On teams, I believe that team learning and having a heightened sense of being alive and connected are vital components of thriving and becoming the best version of oneself. At Thriving Teams Institute, I can combine my experience and passion for developing teams and organizations to be their best by applying my research on team functioning and team learning to improve a team or organization’s overall effectiveness.
What did you do before Thriving Teams?
I started my career in the United States Army. As a platoon leader and company commander, I led multi-team systems in Iraq, Korea, and Afghanistan. I continuously experienced the importance of unit cohesion and team and organizational learning. After returning from Afghanistan, I had the privilege to serve as a faculty member at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Along with teaching a leadership course, I was a member of a team that designed and executed a number of leading-edge leadership development programs for the cadets at West Point and the operational Army. After transitioning from the Army, I worked at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. I managed the leader development training programs for 4,000 faculty, staff, and medical profession students to prepare participants to lead effectively in higher education and collaborative healthcare environments. Most recently, I was conducting research as a doctoral student at Pepperdine University. My focus was on understanding and improving workplace attachment, team functioning, team psychological safety, and learning within global organizations. In my consulting work, I have worked with leaders, teams, and organizations from various industries and professions, partnering with clients to design team environments where all members are thriving.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is
Early in my military career, I learned the importance of team and organizational learning and its relationship to performance and mission accomplishment. During an organizational learning event called an After-Action Review, a senior leader shared, “If you’re not learning, you’re not Leading” and emphasized the leader’s role in setting the conditions for learning and performance. My training and combat experiences in the Army influenced my beliefs that one of the essential functions of the leader is to shape the team/organizational environment so members can learn collaboratively, implement the lessons, and get better together. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape organizations need to embrace the concept of a psychologically secure team/organizational environment as the foundation for organizational learning and performance. If the organizational environment is not secure, employees will hold back, and the organization will suffer in terms of engagement, diversity, inclusion, performance, and financial results.
One of The most influential book I have read recently is
Teaming by Amy Edmondson