We use the word team as if it is a one size fits all descriptor for a group of people who just happen to work together. I suppose it is a somewhat stimulating or even motivating title, but with true teams the focus of accomplishment becomes one of successful task achievement while balancing its people and processes, but make no mistake it has mutual accountability to the successfulness of the task.
High performance is a discipline. A collective discipline that is the sum of its parts. Interdependently there are individual roles and functions, but collectively a product is born. Let’s define a team shall we? Now, depending on what book we read last there will be varying definitions of a team, but they all have the same components.
A team is a group of people (more than one) with diverse talents whose members struggle for shared ambitions (a common goal) with measurable performance and joint accountability.
Albert Einstein hit the nail on the head. You see for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a team that means for everything we are good at, we are really not good at something else. It’s relative. Teams and high performance are indivisible. Perhaps that is what Jim Collins meant by “who first, then what”.
Team member contributions are made it is with a sense of purpose. These diverse talents are tied to performance and performance is tied to the goal. It is through the inspiration of a shared vision that team members become aligned to this common goal.
Converting directives into specific measurable performance plans will jump-start the team to its sense of purpose.
Some groups develop performance development plans that include nebulous actions items. If teams do not address, not just what, but how, who and when, then its easy to go back to business as usual and have goals fade into the sunset.
There is no “Us and them” only we. Commitment is the cornerstone to both individual and team accountable. Joint accountability means when there is success I need to look around me at all the people that made it happen and when there are setbacks and failures I need to look at myself equally.
A Rose by any other name…but does it smell as sweet? We can use the word team as loosely as we want to describe clusters of people, but they are not the same thing. Being called a team does not guarantee teamwork.
A group’s performance is based on individual achievement. A team’s performance is based on individual achievement and cooperative achievement. So, at the end of the day we can call them the same, but the fragrance is definitely different.
Nicholas D. Conner is Vice President of Program Development and COO of TeamBuilders.
For nearly twenty years he has enjoyed sharing his experience and expertise with organizations that include small business to Fortune 20 Companies.
His unique facilitation style combining humor with knowledge creates workshops that are both entertaining and insightful. Nick is one reason why TeamBuilders’ client list reads like a Who’s Who of global business.
EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE Nearly twenty years of designing and facilitating sophisticated workshops in Team Synergy – High Performance Teams, Mergers and Acquisitions and Change, Leadership Synergy, Leading & Coaching for High Performance Teams and Self-Managed/Self-Directed Work Teams.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator Level Eight Facilitator-MBTI, MBTI Step II, MBTI Executive Coaching
Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership-Kouzes and Posner
The FiveStar Team Performance Indicator
Key Note Speaker