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.
- 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
- establish boundaries
- define the tasks that members are collectively accountable
- define the tasks that members are individually accountable for and how those tasks align with #2
- 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.