Teamwork is essential for success in the fast-paced corporate climate today. This is true, regardless of your industry, as well as whether your company is well-established or just starting. Teams are the foundation of every organization, and their value cannot be over-emphasized. Here’s why.
What is a team?
There are teamwork behaviors – good communication, coordination, trust and morale – and then there is the structure that aligns behavior, process, and commitment toward a performance output. Jon R. Katzenbach says it best in this book, “The Wisdom of Team” when he writes that “a team is a small group of people with complementary skills committed to a common purpose and set specific performance goals.” Here are some lessons we’ve learned by working with teams over 30 years.
Diverse Skill Set
Having a team has several benefits, one of which is the diverse skill set it delivers. Each team member brings unique skills and knowledge to the table, which can aid in tackling challenging issues and producing creative answers. In addition, a staff with a range of abilities and experiences can provide the company with fresh viewpoints, concepts, and methods, which can spur innovation and development.
A team can aid in improved decision-making. When people from various backgrounds and experiences get together, the group can spot potential hazards, difficulties, and possibilities that an individual might have missed—better decision-making results, ultimately aiding the company’s success.
Working in groups can result in greater productivity. Each team member might take on specific tasks and responsibilities to accomplish projects more quickly. A team can also aid in finding areas where procedures can be simplified, improving productivity and efficiency.
The success of every firm depends on effective communication. People who operate in teams must regularly and successfully communicate with one another. This can result in better connections, higher morale, and a more cooperative work environment. Additionally, clear communication helps lessen disagreements, mistakes, and misunderstandings.
Team members share accountability for a project’s success or failure. This may contribute to a feeling of accountability and ownership, inspiring motivation and dedication. In addition, team members are more willing to go above and beyond to ensure the project’s success when they feel they are a part of something bigger. We hear that the deepest, most satisfying source of enjoyment comes from “having been part of something larger than myself.”
Most business models of the “organization of the future” that we have heard about – “networked,” “clustered,” “agile,” “nonhierarchical,” “horizontal,” and so forth – are based on teams surpassing individuals as the primary performance unit in the company.
Teams are the best way to integrate across structural boundaries; learning not only occurs but endures, and companies with strong performance standards spawn more real teams than companies that promote teamwork. In any situation requiring the real-time combination of multiple skills, experiences, and judgments, a team inevitably gets better results than a combination of individuals within confined job roles and responsibilities.