Trip Wires in Designing and Leading Teams 1 Create-Learning Team Building and Leadership

In an earlier post I share ‘5 Trip Wires in Designing and Leading Teams

This post looks at:

Trip Wire #1: Call the performing unit a team but really manage the members as individuals.

There is no right way to create and sustain a team.

2 extremes:

  • Assign specific tasks to specific people and align their individual output to the same tasks of other people.
  • Assign group responsibility and authority for an entire goal and let the members decide among themselves how to work it out.

While either option can be effective, a choice must be made. A mixed model, which takes pieces of both options, people are told they are a team and are treated as individual performers creates confusion, dysfunctional team politics and manipulation.

You cannot throw a bunch of smart people in a room and expect them to become a team.

Clear action must be taken to

  1. establish boundaries
  2. define the tasks that members are collectively accountable
  3. define the tasks that members are individually accountable for and how those tasks align with #2
  4. ensure team members and those needed to support the team’s effort have the requisite authority to manage internal and external clients and co-workers

With the above taking place, organizational support can be changed as necessary to support the teamwork. Systems-drive-behavior.