There Are Only Three Reasons to Form a Team

There Are Only Three Reasons to Form a Team

A group cannot become a cohesive unit until it is able to hold itself responsible as a whole. This requires team discipline, which brings together the members with a common goal, approach, and responsibility. For all teams to succeed, this discipline is essential. But effective teams must also be focused within the organization.

Individuals who work together towards a common goal can build trust and commit. Teams benefit from a shared purpose and approach that makes them accountable for their actions as individuals as well as as a group. All team members reap the rewards of equal success when there is a sense of mutual accountability.

Leaders should be aware of this topic as teams are increasingly becoming the central unit for performance management in many companies. However, this does not mean that they will replace individual opportunities within a hierarchy. Teams can enhance existing structures while maintaining their relevance. Opportunities for teamwork exist wherever order or organizational boundaries limit the skills and perspectives needed to achieve optimal results. These situations are ideal for teams because they have the unique ability to deliver results.

The environment must be conducive to team performance, individual performance, and overall organizational success.

Teams that are formed with the sole purpose of improving job quality, communication, organization effectiveness, or excellence seldom become successful. The unit can only be effective if they have clear objectives and alternatives. They can then disagree with the team’s goal and choose a different path. In effect, they have two options: they can opt-out or pitch in and take responsibility for their team.

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The three most effective teams can be classified in one of these ways.

Recommendations from Teams

These teams can include task forces, quality groups, audit groups, safety groups, and project groups. They are asked to solve specific problems. Most teams that are formed to make recommendations have predetermined completion dates. These teams face two critical challenges: getting off to an efficient, constructive start and dealing with the final handoff necessary to get their recommendations implemented.

Clear communication and the composition of the team are critical factors in a quick start. Task forces must be able to clearly define their purpose and what they are doing. They also need to have a plan for how much time they will commit and who senior management expects them to include. These groups can be assisted by management by including people with the necessary skills and influence to craft practical recommendations that can be used throughout the organization.

These teams find it difficult to hand over final responsibility. Teams should delegate responsibility for implementing recommendations to others in order to avoid this. Senior management will assume that recommendations will “happen” and will make it less likely. More team members are involved in the implementation of their advice, which will increase their chances of being implemented.

Teams that Make or Do

These teams are made up of people who work at the frontlines and are familiar with the value-added activities. They also include those responsible for basic manufacturing, service, and marketing. Except for some exceptions (e.g., new product development teams or process design teams), these teams don’t have a set end date because their activities are continuous and ongoing.

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When they are focused on the company’s key delivery points, these teams make the most impact on their company. These are the areas where the most direct effect is on the value and cost of products or services. These points require the ability to combine multiple perspectives, skills, and judgments in real-time. This is where the team option is the best way for organizations to go.

Performance is the focus of all teams. Senior management must insist on clear and compelling demands from these teams and be vigilant about their performance in relation to both team basics as well as performance results.

People Who Run Things

Although many leaders refer to their group as a team by calling it that, very few groups will accept this label. Because of the intense focus, they have on performance, groups that are successful become teams don’t think of themselves as one.

This is where the main problem for these teams is determining whether a team approach is suitable for the situation. Many entities are more efficient as working groups than in sections. The key is to determine whether individual performance is sufficient or if substantial and incremental team performance is needed.

There are fewer risks with working groups because they are more focused on their goals. The leader often establishes them; meetings can be run without prior agendas, and decisions made by the group are based on specific assignments and accountability.

Practically speaking, the majority of teams running things are smaller than that, typically two to four people.

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