‘team working’ has infiltrated every nook and cranny within just about every organisation. You can’t get away from ‘teams’ that are supposed to be able to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Or so the theory goes.
Yet the truth about teams is that the larger majority of them do not achieve the synergies they could. For example, poor teamworking is the culprit when meetings regularly overrun, when there are frequent arguments between team members or there is an healthy level of competition between individuals. Other signs of unproductive teamworking are people not always completing task assigned to them or last minute panics to meet deadlines. More often than not, ineffective trams are the result of poor planing.
In other words, a clear reason for the team to exist. But don’t think of goals as wish lists – they have to be achievabel, yet challenging enough to motivate team members.
Members must be able to express their opinions freely without fear of retribution, and feel that suggestions will be taken seriously. The team might also need to agree whether politically sensitive topics of discussion in meetings should be kept within the confines of the team or shared with other employees.