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In March of 2020, as Will Smith is filming the biopic "King Richard," the emergence of COVID-19 abruptly shuts down all production. With unusual downtime and an urge to uplift his audience amid looming uncertainty, the actor meets with his production team at Westbrook Media to find a creative solution. What if they created a variety show with Will as the host – from his house? Smith had never hosted a variety show, and Westbrook Media had never done anything like it – not to mention during a pandemic, where the full production crew can't be on set, and those on location must follow strict safety protocols. But they take on the challenge, and in only a few weeks Snapchat offers a lucrative deal to launch the show as soon as possible. In the final episode of season 3, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite tells the story of the making of what became the hit Snapchat show: "Will From Home." A show developed in an entirely new way, where Will Smith's garage becomes the set and the people he interviews aren't with him but in their own homes and garages. Behind the scenes, it's the amazing work of a team of enterprising producers, writers, editors, and leaders who discovered during the making that many age-old industry practices need to be more inclusive and collaborative – even after the pandemic. Throughout the episode, Gabriela, a film director herself, shares her experiences of working in film production during this time and offers insights on teamwork lessons that are here to stay. You'll hear from Gila Jones, COO of Westbrook Inc., and Lukas Kaiser​ SVP and Head of Content. You'll also hear from Dawn Manning, Head of Physical Production, Ashley McCollum,​ SVP, Revenue & Strategy and Dana Z. Currier​ SVP, Operations.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For a transcript of the episode and other extras, check out To listen to episodes from all three seasons of Teamistry, go to
The can is Americana itself; the product indistinguishable from the ordinary contents. It's part of a quintessential American meal, soothing the hunger and warming the souls of families for more than a hundred years. But in 2001, a toxic atmosphere hung over the workers at The Campbell Soup Company. Its headquarters stood isolated behind barbed fences in the run-down city of Camden, New Jersey. Inside, a culture of anxiety and distrust prevailed. Employees, uneasy about going outside the gates, ate lunch in the building – and got no discounts on soup. The dwindling morale, along with impending financial crisis, pushed the company to the brink: it had the lowest employee engagement of any Fortune 500 company. To save this American culinary and cultural icon from collapse, a new CEO enters the scene and embarks on an ambitious mission. He wants to replace and rejuvenate the leadership team, boost morale, and turn the company's fortunes around – in just three years. His strategies are both tough and tender: he lets hundreds of unfit senior managers go, and sends tens of thousands of handwritten letters to employees to recognize and praise their work. In the penultimate episode of Teamistry's third season, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us behind the scenes to witness Campbell's rebirth. We hear from the former CEO who led this mission, Douglas Conant, who explains how he translated "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" into a step-by-step framework to rebound employee morale and confidence. We also hear from two of Doug's handpicked recruits who represented a new era of leadership at the company: Nancy Reardon, former Senior Vice President and Chief of HR and David White, former Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For a transcript of the episode and other extras, check out
When the pandemic struck, many pivoted their lives online – to connect with family, to work, to attend school. But many others, living in cutoff communities, like several neighborhoods in the city of Detroit, Michigan, where generations of systemic racism and poor infrastructure has left them largely isolated, this wasn't an option. Up to 40% of residents in these underserved areas have no internet at all, keeping them from the online world where everything had moved. But an enterprising team of "digital stewards" is changing this reality. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite tells the story of the Detroit Equitable Internet Initiative – a network of formal workers and grassroots organizations that are bringing low-cost or free high-speed internet to families, one connection at a time. Their ability to win trust from the community and strategize on the ground – even during a pandemic – has emerged as a case study on how to mobilize a network to reach people in hard-to-reach places. You'll spend a day with Changa Parker and Kirk Teasley – the digital stewards – as they install WiFi door-to-door. You'll hear from Janice Gates, Director of Equitable Internet Initiative, and you'll hear from Nick Wilson, Network Manager at North End Woodward Community Coalition, as he leads the Digital Stewards on their daily missions. You'll also hear from Norma Heath, a community organizer, for whom reliable and affordable internet is no longer a distant dream thanks to this amazing team's work.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For a transcript of the episode and other extras, check out
Reinventing Hot Wheels

Reinventing Hot Wheels


In 2016, a research video played in a conference room of Mattel Inc. caused deep concern. It showed an eight-year-old playing with iconic Hot Wheels™ toy cars. "Imagine doing this for an hour," the boy said, as if it was torture. The moment confirmed what many Mattel employees already knew: kids were shifting from physical toys to digital games at increasingly younger ages. And it meant that Hot Wheels, the best-selling toy on the planet, was losing its primary audience to digital gadgets and putting the company's future in jeopardy. The moment galvanized a small group of forward-thinking employees and a risky decision was made: everyone's favorite toy car would ride the digital wave – instead of being totalled by it. The team navigated strong resistance – after all, how do you fix a toy that isn't broken? – to introduce Hot Wheels™ i-d. It's a never-before-seen product that blends the physical toy with a digital platform. And guess what? It crashes and burns. But rather than sinking the venerable company, it benefits Mattel, Inc. To find out how, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite talks with both the innovators who challenged the status quo and the decision-makers who had trouble stomaching the risks. Hear from Chris Down, chief design officer at Mattel, Inc., and Ron Friedman, former director of global marketing. Also hear from senior leaders Steve Totzke, Mattel's executive vice president, and Ricardo Briceno, vice president of franchise marketing.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For a transcript and extras about this episode visit:
A cricket match played on April 18th 2008 between two city-based teams in India marks a historic moment in sports. It was the beginning of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a radically new tournament within the shortest format of cricket. Spearheaded by a flamboyant businessman, the IPL was to become for cricket what the National Football League (NFL) is to American football: an exciting prime-time entertainment for a new, global fanbase. And that worked – at first. Then the IPL's founder is thrown out, scandal rocks the league, and even diehard fans turn away from their beloved sport. In this episode, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes you back to the exciting origins of the league and behind the scenes to how the IPL rallies to save itself. Learn how a reformed league with a newly-appointed representative team restored transparency to the game, and how rival cricket boards became allies to stage a tournament during an even bigger crisis: the global pandemic. Listen to exciting analysis from Prakash Wakankar, a cricket commentator with the BBC, and hear from Simon Hughes, former English cricketer and co-author of "A New Innings," a book about the IPL. Also hear from "A New Innings" co-author Manoj Badale, lead owner of the IPL team Rajasthan Royals, and from Shane Watson, the former Aussie cricketer and founder of T20 Stars. Plus, Rehmatullah Sheikh, Teamistry's Story Producer and a massive cricket fan, joins in to talk about his experience with the IPL and the reforms that helped it bounce back from disgrace.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For the transcript of this episode and extras, go to
In 1994, IBM sponsored the Winter Olympics and held exclusive rights to telecast the games. But Dave Grossman – an engineer at IBM – discovered Sun Microsystems had stolen the live feed and was posting the results on its website. This sparked the creation of a team of innovators that not only convinced IBM's top brass to pay attention to the Internet but influenced a seismic change in everything about IBM as an organization. In the first episode of season 3, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us through the story of how the newly-assembled team built a website from scratch in time for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. And how their efforts didn't just prevent IBM from further embarrassment but transformed the entire company, going from one that almost missed the Internet to becoming a pioneer of its innovations, creating a website that would influence how we shop, work, and live online today. Along with Dave Grossman, the computer engineer who left IBM as a senior manager, we hear from John Patrick, IBM's former vice president of internet technology, and Jane Harper, former director of collaborative innovation programs at IBM.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on this episode visit where you can see IBM's first Olympic website from 1996 in all its low-res glory and check out related teamwork articles.
In Season 3 of Teamistry, filmmaker and host Gabriela Cowperthwaite returns to spotlight teams that not only achieve the impossible, but also inspire change.These stories of leadership and courage mark a turning point in how organizations—and even whole industries—are transformed for the better. Follow along as a team of trailblazers brings IBM on to the web; a group of innovators at Mattel fuses the world's No.1 selling toy Hot Wheels with a virtual platform; a community of digital stewards in Detroit connects underserved neighbors to the Internet. And many more. Starting June 7th, a new episode drops every two weeks. Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
Before corporate social responsibility was a popular concept, Patagonia declared its commitment to better outcomes for their workers, and the planet. They soon discovered that commitment would include major pitfalls, but it seems the more Patagonia doubles down on its values, the better it performs. In this episode, we hear from Craig Wilson, former lead strategist for consumer marketing at Patagonia; Bethany Patten, Senior Associate Director for MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, and Maya Spaull, Vice President of apparel and home goods at Fair Trade USA. We also speak with Andrew Kenney, a journalist who got insider access to see how Patagonia is redefining its business processes.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
In the West African country of Burkina Faso in the 1980s, an 18-year-old boy is killed in the road. Why? A case of meningitis. The meningitis epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa spurred a global race to find a vaccine, led by the founding of the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP). This network of doctors, vaccine developers, public health officials, and UN workers converged to develop an inexpensive vaccine – without Big Pharma. Instead, they built teams as an ecosystem of thriving partnerships. In this episode of Teamistry, we hear from the original MVP team and how they persevered despite enormous challenges.Dr. Samba Sow, Director General of the Centre for Vaccine Development in Mali, Dr. Suresh Jhadav, Executive Director of the Serum Institute of India and Dr. Marc LaForce, then Director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project. We also hear from Dr. Ngozi Erondu, an infectious disease specialist who explains MVP's legacy in building "South-South" collaborations, and Dr. Mark Alderson, project leader at PATH, describes how the team brought the vaccine from labs in one part of the globe to clinics in another.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
In the desert plains of Northern Kenya, hundreds of people from around the world and different walks of life have gathered. The photographs they take with their GPS-enabled cameras might be humanity's best shot at saving an entire species. This is the story of Wildbook, an artificial intelligence (AI) software program that creates a live database to track animal populations. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite discovers how a shared mission, and a shared technology platform supporting the work of diverse teams, is saving animals – and the biodiversity of the planet. We hear from Tanya Berger-Wolf, co-founder of Wildbook and Jason Holmberg, co-founder of WildMe, the organization that created and runs Wildbook. We also hear from Rosemary Warungu, zebra project manager at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya, and Daniel Rubenstein, a behavioural ecologist at Princeton University, as they explain how Wildbook's global community is helping change local attitudes towards the Grevy's zebra — one photo at a time.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
In the summer of 2018, 12 Thai teenagers and their 25-year-old soccer coach got stuck deep inside the labyrinthine – and flooding – Tham Luang caves of Thailand’s Chiang Rai province. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us inside the caves and alongside the people assembled from across Thailand and the world to work together on a dire rescue mission. Hour after hour, as the caves continued to flood and oxygen tanks ran low, we learn about the leadership and teamwork that enabled disparate groups to remain synchronized, overcome cultural barriers, and make difficult, life-or-death decisions.  We hear from Narongsak Osottanakorn, the former Governor of Chiang Rai province, who marshaled the various teams and became a national hero. Lt. Col. Charles Hodges of the U.S. Air Force talks about his role in getting teams to communicate effectively, and Dr. Richard Harris, an anesthesiologist from Australia, describes his climactic moments while inside the caves with the boys. We also hear from Wharton Professor Michael Useem who offers insight into the leadership techniques that propelled the successful mission. And Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor of The Times of London, revisits his daily on-the-ground reporting to tell us how this mission unfolded.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland had become the worst-hit country in Scandinavia. But it reversed its fate, without a full lockdown. And to date, Iceland has seen very few deaths. How? Largely because of the harmonious collaboration of "The Trinity" – Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, Director of Health, and superintendent of police – who implemented the "pandemic plan" – a framework for working together, and saving lives. In episode two of Teamistry's second season, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite brings us a story of optimism to cut through the gloom. We hear directly from The Trinity: Alma Moller, Iceland's Director of Health, Þórólfur Guðnason, its Chief Epidemiologist, and Víðir Reynisson, Chief Superintendent of the Office of the National Commissioner of the Police. We also learn how Kári Stefánsson, the CEO of deCODE genetics, and his team of scientists assisted government health officials by examining the virus and increasing Iceland's testing capacity. And Alexander Elliott, an Icelandic journalist, describes how the country's pandemic fight unfolded and how its teamwork saved lives.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
In the aftermath of World War II, Japan must rebuild its economy. Certain products become vital exports in the revitalization effort, including the wristwatch. Seiko leaps to the forefront of the recovery, but there's a problem: their watches aren't good. The company decides to bring R&D in-house to take advantage of constructive competition between its factories, and winds up going from industry failure to time-honored player on the world stage.In episode one of Teamistry's second season, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us on the journey of how Seiko turned its fortunes. We hear from Hirokazu Imai, a Seiko Epson representative who explains how the two factories worked as members of the same "family," and David Flett, a writer for watch website “Beyond The Dial." You'll also hear from Daniel Moriwaki, a Seiko watch aficionado, and Roni Reiter-Palmon, professor of Industrial Organizational Psychology at the University of Nebraska. And Anthony Kable, who runs the website Plus9Time and has a finger on the pulse of the Japanese watch industry, also weighs in.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
In season one of Teamistry, we put the spotlight on teams behind the scenes, the people responsible for some of the greatest achievements of our times. Like the team of astronomers who gave us the first-ever photograph of a black hole, and the team that averted a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In season two, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us beyond the heroics of a single team and expands the focus to the power of multiple teams working together. How groups of teams – with different sets of skills, experiences, and even personalities – can embrace uncertainty, innovate, and tackle massive challenges. In this new season, we examine the story of Japanese watchmaker Seiko and how the company used internal competition to ultimately leapfrog the mighty Swiss. We follow the frantic moments where teams of teams, including international cave divers, doctors, engineers, government officials, and more, used communication to save a teenage soccer team from deep within a cave in Thailand. And you'll hear directly from the "Trinity" – Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, the Director of Health, and the superintendent of police – who worked in harmony to contain the spread of COVID-19 when it threatened to become an outbreak.Episode one of season two launches on September 21st. Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. To listen to stories from Season 1 and for bonus material, visit
When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon for the first time, we don't actually see his face. We see his moonsuit. That moonsuit — in effect — is Neil Armstrong; an inseparable part of this historic moment. While the spacesuit kept him alive to tell that story in his own words, what went unnoticed is the extraordinary team that stitched it together. In the final episode of Season 1 of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite shines a light on the team of seamstresses and engineers whose meticulous craftwork, creativity, and dedication helped us realize the dream of putting a man on the moon. In this episode, Joanne Thompson and Jean Wilson — two of last surviving seamstresses who worked on the Apollo 11 moonsuits — talk about the intricate seams, needlework, and personal sacrifices that went into outfitting Neil Armstrong. We hear from Homer Reihm, one of the engineers who worked with the seamstresses, and Bill Ayrey, former historian at ILC Dover and Nicholas de Monchaux, author of 'Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo', who take us through the pivotal moments of this monumental task. Also, Janet Ferl, the current design engineering manager at ILC Dover, tells us how the legacy of dedication and teamwork on the Apollo 11 moonsuit continues to inspire the company today.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
The great American experiment was about to fail. On the eve of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 – where the U.S. Constitution began – the French minister to America wrote home to his superiors in Paris, "What part of the United States would you like to take when it falls apart?" Disunity between states, a faltering economy, active rebellions, the threat of European interference – all were contributing factors. The Articles of Confederation — the original post-independence document – weren't working. The fledgling country needed an overhaul of its core principles. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite revisits that summer of 1787 when a monumental collaboration ultimately delivered the U.S. Constitution. Within the muggy chambers of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, some of the country's brightest lawmakers and thought-leading eccentrics came together to hash out a new government system unlike any other in the world. Carol Berkin, presidential professor of American history at The City University of New York and Constitutional author Jeff Broadwater describe the action: state delegates debating and bickering about topics that would chart the course of the country's future. Learn the real story of an unlikely team of delegates forced to give up their personal egos and the interests of their individual states to build a collective – The United States of America – through compromise.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
It's hard to remember what it took to get around before the invention of Google Maps. But the technology has changed everything from daily routes to road trips to navigating unknown territory. Because of Google Maps, the entire globe seems reachable. But the road to inventing Google Maps? That's another story. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite uncovers the tale of this indispensable technology and the team that built it. In 2001, Lars Rasmussen, Jens Rasmussen, Noel Gordon, and Stephen Ma are developing a product they believe will change the mapping landscape. But like so many great inventions before it, "Where 2 Technologies" – not yet Google Maps – is just a fledgling startup run from a small room in Sydney, and constantly one wrong turn away from a dead end. Rent checks bounce, savings accounts evaporate. The dream could be only a mirage on the distant horizon. But the team discovers a way to keep going, to find new pathways, until they reach their final destination. Hear from Google Maps co-inventors Lars Rasmussen and Noel Gordon as they take us back through the detours and U-turns of the journey, including working alongside competitors, that eventually leads to a creation that changed the world as we know it.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to  
Sir Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first man to walk across the Antarctic continent. In 1914, with a crew of 28 men, he set sail on the Endurance to complete the first “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition." But harsh winds and frigid temperatures threatened the voyage from the start, and in short order the ship was marooned thousands of miles away from civilization. Shackleton suddenly realized a different task was at hand – keeping his crew alive. A team of restless seamen who quickly run out of food, patience, and hope. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite travels back in time to discover the surprisingly modern leadership skills of Shackleton, like emotional intelligence and empathy. Hear from the diary of one of the crew to get a sense of the uncertainty and fear the seamen grappled with, and listen as Nancy Koehn, a historian and professor at the Harvard Business School, walks you through the pivotal moments when Shackleton's superior decision-making helped him salvage the expedition and hold the hearts of his men. Also, Tim Jarvis, an explorer who recreated some of Shackleton's journey, discusses how Shackleton's strategies can help us face climate change, and Thomas H. Zurbuchen talks about how he applies Shackleton's leadership lessons at NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to 
Saving Fukushima

Saving Fukushima


On March 11, 2011 Japan was struck by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the most powerful in the country's recorded history. But the real horror had only just begun. A 14-meter-high tsunami created by the seismic event followed, sending giant waves of seawater crashing into the the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, triggering a nuclear disaster. While the world watched in horror, the responsibility of containing the disaster fell on workers who had to risk their lives to salvage the plant -- and protect the planet. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us through the harrowing experience that no amount of training could've prepared the team for. Former plant superintendent Atsufumi Yoshizawa describes the scenes from the frontlines and how a method called "Resilience Engineering" helped his team prevent total meltdown. You'll also hear from operations manager Akira Hogyuko as he talks about how trust between team members and seniors helped them navigate the disaster. Plus Lake Barrett, a retired nuclear engineer and consultant on the clean-up effort, helps explain the major events that unfolded in those frightful moments.Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
The Car that Saved Ford

The Car that Saved Ford


In 1985, the automobile giant Ford was teetering on the edge of financial collapse. Faced with internal chaos, an uninspiring product line, and fierce competition from Japanese cars – they needed a sensation. Enter: The Ford Taurus. This breakthrough model didn't just rescue the company, it sparked new life in an industry that represented 3% of the United State's GDP. But how Ford did it is even more surprising. For the first time ever, the venerable carmaker changed how it made cars. It introduced a brand new cross-functional team approach, putting engineering and design together in the same room, and welcoming the contributions of employees across the organization. The Taurus was not just a revolutionary product, it represented a revolution in how to do business. In this episode, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite takes us to the design floor where together creative geniuses from different departments hash out the details of an entirely new American automobile. We hear from John Risk, the Program Director of the Ford Taurus project, and Jack Telnack, then the head of North America design. We also get the insights of Eric Taub, author of "Taurus: The Making of the Car That Saved Ford," and David Cole, former director of the Center For Automotive Research. Teamistry is an original podcast from Atlassian. For more on the series, go to
Comments (1)

Joel Hamburg

Very interesting podcast! I look forward to listening to the rest.

Jun 11th
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