Smart Teams Book Summary - Smart Teams Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Smart Teams summary

Dermot Crowley

How to Work Better Together

4.2 (123 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

'Smart Teams' by Dermot Crowley is a guide to improving team productivity through effective communication, collaboration, and task management. It provides practical tips and tools for creating a culture of efficiency and shared accountability within teams.

Table of Contents

    Smart Teams
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    The right company culture is key to building more productive teams.

    Do you find yourself spending most of your working day dealing with unexpected interruptions or wasting time in unfocused meetings? Is your inbox overflowing with unread emails? Are your priorities constantly derailed by last-minute requests?

    If you recognize your workplace in this picture, you work in a culture of friction. Friction is the loss of productivity that happens between people, like when your plans for the day are disrupted by having to pick up the pieces of someone else’s unmet deadline.

    It’s a fact of life that emergencies can happen, and it’s natural that your productivity takes a hit as a result. But a lot of the time the slump in your productivity comes down to a build-up of little things that you don’t even notice until you realize how little you got done. It’s things like meetings always running late and too many irrelevant emails arriving in your inbox happening day in, day out that are a clear sign that there’s too much friction in your working life.

    Fortunately, most people mean well and don’t deliberately set out to work in a way that disrupts others. But if poor practices are widespread in a company, it can really work against those good intentions.

    For example, your colleagues might invite you to their meetings because they value your opinion, not realizing that you might have other priorities. But if your company culture pressures you into saying yes to every invitation, this can prevent you from being as productive as you could be. Instead of focusing on the real purpose of your role, you’ll spend too much time half-listening to irrelevant discussions.

    This means that to really increase productivity, we need to pay attention to how our actions could inadvertently be making other’s lives more difficult. It’s a question of taking a look at our working lives and pointing to behaviors that create the friction. They could be something very specific – perhaps it’s a norm in your company not to bother with a clear subject for emails, making it hard to prioritize your inbox. Or it can be something more general like a lack of empathy and respect for each other’s time.

    Once we know what the problematic practices are, we can start to change them.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Smart Teams?

    Key ideas in Smart Teams

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Smart Teams about?

    Smart Teams (2018) is a practical guide to enhancing your team’s productivity. It gives you tools and strategies that you can use to help you and your team communicate better, collaborate effectively, and stamp out the disruptions that stop you from achieving your goals.

    Smart Teams Review

    Smart Teams by Dermot Crowley (2020) is an essential read for anyone looking to enhance teamwork and collaboration in their professional lives. Here's why this book stands out:

    • With its practical strategies and techniques, it equips readers with the tools they need to build and lead successful teams, resulting in improved productivity and performance.
    • By incorporating real-life examples and case studies, the book illustrates the concepts and principles with relatable stories, making it relevant and engaging.
    • Its down-to-earth approach and emphasis on fostering effective communication and problem-solving skills make this book a refreshing and valuable resource for team development.

    Best quote from Smart Teams

    Our challenge is the unproductive friction we create for others when we cooperate, and of course the friction they create for us.

    —Dermot Crowley
    example alt text

    Who should read Smart Teams?

    • Business leaders who want to create a more productive company culture
    • Professionals seeking to collaborate more effectively
    • Anyone who wants to know how team productivity works

    About the Author

    Dermot Crowley is a trainer, speaker, thought leader and productivity expert with more than twenty years’ experience in the productivity industry. He is director of Adapt Productivity, a Sydney-based training company he founded in 2002. He is also the author of the best-selling personal productivity guide Smart Work (2016).


    © Dermot Crowley: Smart Teams copyright 2018, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

    Categories with Smart Teams

    Book summaries like Smart Teams

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Smart Teams FAQs 

    What is the main message of Smart Teams?

    The main message of Smart Teams is to improve team collaboration and communication for greater productivity.

    How long does it take to read Smart Teams?

    The reading time for Smart Teams varies, but it generally takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Smart Teams a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Smart Teams is a valuable read for anyone looking to enhance teamwork. It provides practical strategies and insights for achieving success.

    Who is the author of Smart Teams?

    Dermot Crowley is the author of Smart Teams.

    What to read after Smart Teams?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Smart Teams, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Captain Class by Sam Walker
    • Teams That Work by Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
    • The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
    • Deep Work by Cal Newport
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • Dream Teams by Shane Snow
    • The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan
    • Building an Inclusive Organization by Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene