Teams have existed for hundreds of years, but in our area the benefits teams offer are crucial for organization’s high performance.
Nonetheless, there is much more to the wisdom of teams than we ever expected.
Performance is the crux of the matter for teams and is the primary objective while a team remains the means, not the end. Any team–if focused on performance regardless of where it is in the organization or what it does—will deliver results beyond what individuals acting alone in nonteam working situations could achieve.
Organizational leaders can foster the performance focus of teams by building a strong performance ethic. That is as important as creating organizational environments that are friendly to teams. Real teams are much more likely to succeed if leaders focus on performance, goals and purpose instead of creating teams because that is the trend or for the sake of teams.
Another challenge that teams face is the balance between individualism and team performance. Most of Americans grow up with a strong sense of individual responsibility and have a strong need to distinguish themselves as individuals. However, teams are not opposing to individual performance. Recognizing and addressing self-preservation and individual accountability properly can become a source of collective strength. Because of their focus on performance, teams motivate, challenge reward, and support individuals who are trying to change the way they do things. On the other hand, left unattended, self-preservation and individual accountability can preclude and destroy potential teams. The challenge for management increasingly becomes that of balancing the roles of individuals and teams versus displacing or favoring one over the other.
Finally, discipline is needed both within the team and across the organization in order for teams to give the desired results. Groups become teams through disciplined actions.
Why is there a need for teams? Why can an organization benefit more...