Brooke Baker

Brooke is Director, Client Services at Edgework and brings a diverse portfolio of organizational development, human resources, and management experience to Edgework, spanning the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Brooke has deep experience and interest in leadership, team effectiveness, and organizational dynamics during change.
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Recent Posts

Culture is Defined by People, Not Space

Posted by Brooke Baker on Feb 4, 2016 12:54:19 PM

Moving offices? It's the people that move with you, not the space you move into, that shape your culture.

Organizations are defined by people, not a space or location. But when you think of an organization you often think of it by its phsyical environment. Your high school is that brick building nestled into the side of the hill, or your first office is the fluorescent, overheard lights, grey shag carpet, and weird buzzing of the radiator. While that location might have seemed special (or haunting!) it was actually the people who inhabited the space that made it feel that way.

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Topics: Organizational Culture

4 Principles to Guide You Through Culture Change

Posted by Brooke Baker on Jan 12, 2016 1:44:32 PM

Culture change is difficult. Organizations, big or small, have many moving parts, and culture exists in each part of an organization. To succeed, it pays to have a plan, but before you plan, it's helpful to understand how culture takes hold. If you want to be an agent of culture change, keep these four guiding principles in mind.

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Topics: Teamwork, Organizational Culture, Workplace Culture

Make Your Meetings Shorter to Make them more Productive

Posted by Brooke Baker on Dec 8, 2015 4:02:50 PM

The length of meeting should be determined by what needs to happen, not by how much time is available. Different people, different topics, and different decision making processes mean that each meeting is unique. Despite the differences, almost every meeting is scheduled in the same half-hour increments. When sending a meeting invite to your team, you’re stuck deciding between two imperfect options. Your mouse may hover on 30 minutes as you think “well, I guess we don’t need a decision until next week…”, then it scurries to 60 as you consider “…but Jason is traveling until Tuesday...”

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Topics: Teamwork, Time Management, Meetings

Remote Work, Teaming, and You

Posted by Brooke Baker on Nov 16, 2015 1:57:26 PM

For a long time, teams of knowledge workers were defined by their proximity – the people with whom you sat were the people with whom you worked. If you got transferred to a different department or team, it meant packing up your things and moving to wherever that team was – the idea being that to work closely with people you need to be able to communicate with them. And the only way to ensure efficient, reliable communication was to put those people in close proximity.

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Topics: Teamwork, Remote Teaming

3 Ways a Leader Can Help a Team Going Remote be Productive

Posted by Brooke Baker on Nov 4, 2015 9:52:33 AM

Team members work remotely for a number of reasons: an evolving industry, more flexibility in how work gets done, a desire to retain a valuable employee whose life is taking them to a new location. Whatever the reason, once you’ve made the plunge into any level of remote working, the best thing you can do is put yourself and your team in a position to be successful. It’s not always easy – a shift to remote teaming is a change, and change brings challenges – but here are three actions you can take to help your team succeed in the new normal.

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Topics: Teamwork, Remote Teaming

Teaming and the Myth of Weak Links

Posted by Brooke Baker on Oct 16, 2015 1:07:11 PM

In this series of blog posts we'll share some of our research and insights into four myths about teaming: luck; weak links; zero conflict; and success is the deliverable. Today, we're talking about weak links.

We’ve all had moments where we’ve felt like someone on our team is a weak link, that due to lack of experience or skill set, he or she is hindering the team’s progress on a project. Or, worse yet, we’ve looked around the team members and felt like we were the one holding the team back. But the science and research on teaming don’t back this up. In narrow, isolated instances, the differences in skills and approach can be frustrating and lead to exasperation, but this diversity is actually what makes great teams successful.

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Topics: Teamwork, Workshops and Training

Leadership Coaching: Making Sense of Communication Skills

Posted by Brooke Baker on Sep 16, 2015 4:28:00 PM

How people hear something can also affect what they hear. If your regular communication with your colleagues is eliciting negative responses – sighs, curt emails, or no response at all – it may be that despite your best intentions, how you communicate is leading them to be frustrated with you or (even worse) dismissive.

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Topics: Leadership Coaching