Teamwork is the ability to move together toward a unified vision. The ability to manage individual talents for organisational purposes. It is the fuel that enables ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results” – Andrew Carnegie.
Team building and teamwork is the main driver of organizational performance. The days when a lone warrior-corporate hero could propel a company to the top 500 list with his own charisma and genius-are over. Now, to achieve corporate goals and objectives, organizations are trying to build teams, teams of people with complementary skills.
Teams play an important role in all areas of human activity: whether it is sports or volunteer work. In this article we will look at the importance of teams in commercial companies.
Teams are formed in the following cases:
– Performing a particular task requires a combination of skills, knowledge and professional competence and software for tracking employee hours. An individual may not have this combination.
– When issues such as: falling profits, the need to improve quality standards, new project development, reengineering programs, and cross-functional coordination in large and complex organizations are at stake. Teams can be formed for different purposes. The list provided is only a broad indication of the types of teams that can be created.
Stages of team development
The best model for understanding and managing teams is the team evolutionary sequence described by Tuckman and Jenson. Teams need to go through a certain process before they can be effective. Understanding the stages of team development is the key to successful team management.
At this stage, team members gather and come together. People are very polite, getting to know each other and trying to assess their own roles in the team. New team members’ minds are dominated by thoughts about where and how they will fit into the team. This stage is characterized by an easy acceptance of each other, a lack of disagreement, and support from the team leader in terms of getting used to and preparing for work.
Conflicts and competition begin at this stage as each individual team member begins to work to implement the plan. The stress of individual disagreement over various issues and problems emerges. Sometimes problems can be cultural or ethnic in nature, or simply expressed in an attempt to assert one’s own position, or figuratively, one’s importance in the overall team equation. At this stage, interpersonal or communication problems that lead to confrontation predominate.
At this stage of team development, the leader needs strong stamina and the presence of maturity. He or she needs to use all of his or her relationship-building skills among team members and again focus their attention and effort on realizing the team’s goals and vision.
As conflicts subside, work picks up speed. People develop more harmonious working relationships. The focus shifts to shared team goals and work-related problems. Now the cohesive team, having gained an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses, picks up the pace of work, skillfully utilizing the complementary skills of team members. This is also the stage at which the team leader begins to delegate authority more effectively. Giving team members a certain degree of functional autonomy leads to the unlocking of their creative potential, which stimulates high performance in teamwork.
4. Results-based activities.
This is the final stage in which a sense of group identity is developed. Independence and interdependence, learning and sharing knowledge, speed and efficiency are present in the team. The team leader has ironed out any existing rough edges. A high level of autonomy is present, which nurtures new leaders. As a result of high levels of motivation, performance is at its peak.
Successful leaders have an understanding of the different stages of group formation and development and manage the group effectively, varying their management style according to the stage of development the team is in.
As the Chinese proverb says, “A smart man knows all; a wise man knows all.