Why Teams Don’t Work

This time we will talk about team work. If people work together to build a house, will the progress be…
A. faster;
B. slower; or
C. no progress at all

What is your answer? Most people answered A. Do you choose the same answer?

Most people tend to think that working as a team is an effective and efficient way to complete a job. Research proves that in fact, many teams fail. Why? Before a team can perform well, there are many obstacles to be conquered. The biggest challenge however, lies within the team itself, namely: the internal coordination, motivation, and competition.

Choosing team members (whenever possible) is the first key to the success of the team. There should be a firm decision whether one could be a member of the team or not. A candidate’s contribution must be clear prior to selecting team member. The number of team members should be no more than the amount of your palm finger.

The level of unity and balance of the team also needs to be developed. The team with a very high degree of unity, its members usually have a tendency to be adherent. Therefore, the team needs to have “devil’s advocate”, someone who always questioned what should the team do or decide.

When you lead a team, do not try to implement only one model of leadership. A good team leader is like a jazz musician, s/he improvise a lot. A team leader’s challenge is to find a balance between the ability of the individual and group activity

Source: Harvard Business Review on Building Better Teams

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