In an increasingly complex World, where organisational structures are constantly changing becoming flatter, more matrix and project most would agree that teamwork is becoming more important than previously. Certainly it is much more challenging for someone to be expert in everything. However, quite often teambuilding and team development interventions highlight the person’s awareness of roles and how they are likely to interact with each other by focusing on the skills required to become a high performance team – instead of analyzing the components which are crucial to successful team development, and overall team effectiveness.
Typically overlooked is a focus on a mix of three components: The effectiveness of individual team members the seven important processes that enable teams to operate more efficiently and the real relationships which exist within groups which either help or hinder team effectiveness. Without a process that permits teams to tackle these issues through the stages of group development Membership, Control and Cohesion, many staff building or development interventions are arguably better than an away day jolly or some kind of outbound procedure which individual team members find hard to interpret and employ when back at work.
While awareness of staff roles and interaction is important and useful, it merely scratches the surface of effective team working in communicating with influence. Teams function at three levels: At the level of the individual members of the group and how they interact in the unit level in other words, the staff as an entity in the way the team handles certain procedures determines how effective it is as a whole and as part of a larger system, the organisation where team interaction and organisational structures have an important bearing on effectiveness.
Focusing on just one of these levels say that the team abilities which members demonstrate provides a distorted way of looking out how teams operate and how to assist them to be more successful. Among the basic elements contributing to staff effectiveness is clarity and unanimity about the group’s purpose: the uniting goal that determines what they are there for. It provides the reference point against which other team procedures and actions can be judged for relevance and effectiveness.
At the individual level much research has been carried out to the roles and techniques that indicate how someone might operate in a group atmosphere. All these behaviours have their particular strengths and weaknesses. In this context, individual adaptability for a skill would, by way of instance, seem to be an important advantage. It means having the ability to make attempts to present one in various ways to suit the needs of different people and situations. On the other hand, it may also indicate indecisiveness and a sheep-like mindset which could undermine the group’s dynamism and vitality.