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Teams or Work Groups( a revisit)

I was doing a Topic review and this one caught my eye from October 4, 2012. Yup, 2012. It’s just short of 11 years that I have been writing these “So How’s That Working For You?” newsletters. You be the judge when it comes to deciding whether there is any learning and/or learning merit.

An over-used term in business is the word “TEAM”. And, almost every business owner or business head falls victim to declaring that all those who are employed are part of said team.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, teams are often rarely found. Instead of teams, what often exists are “work groups”.

The connotation of a workplace team suggests a collective spirit, cohesiveness toward tasks to be performed, and a social connectivity between the members. Teams rally, teams cheer, and team members are intimate in their willingness to become emotionally engaged in achieving a goal or goals. Teams will hold another team member at fault for not asking for help more than they would for falling short. Teams can outperform groups that do not have performance objectives. There is a potential in “teams” that do not exist in groups.

Work groups can be very effective. Work groups can be made up of highly talented individuals with exceptional skills enabling that work group to perform assigned tasks. Or, said very simply, groups are the sum of the individual productivity of the members of the group. However, in work groups individual self-interest can translate into competition between group members at the expense of the larger objective. When involvement is silo-like, very restricted, and not informed of the big-picture perspective innovation can be a casualty.

Teams are disciplined. Teams have common performance goals. Teams hold each other accountable. Teams invest of themselves in the achievement of defined goals.

What do you have in your organization, Teams or Work Groups? Team cultures need CHAMPIONS. Are you that champion?


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