High Performance Teams Essay

1473 words - 6 pages

WHAT IS A TEAM?A team is a group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable and interdependent.A common purpose allows a team to build an identity, to give itself a direction. A common purpose gives a team an identity that extends beyond the sum of the individuals involved. A common purpose ensures stability through change and a means of overriding the potentially conflicting agendas of bureaucracy.Performance goals help a team transform its common purpose into specific and measurable aims.A common approach enables a team to sort out who will do a particular job, ...view middle of the document...

The first proviso is that the team must be a real team. It must have a goal. It needs a reason to exist and for the team to work together, otherwise it will end up as a self-perpetuating body which exists to hold meetings, or in other words, a committee. Only when the team's purpose has been established, can we start to put it together successfully.The first thing we have to do is to put together a complete team. Sounds simple doesn't it? First of all we may have to start by abandoning a few preconceptions.HOW NOT TO PUT A TEAM TOGETHEREverybody believes to know how to put a team together - we just need to make sure we have a player for every position we think we need.What most people know is how to build a committee, a body that exists to carry out tasks and hold meetings. If it turns out that this develops into a team, that is largely a happy accident.Let's have a look at the common assembly approaches:By functionBy workloadFor harmonyPick a leaderAt randomCall for volunteersBy the rulebookAll these approaches lack some essential elements and for this reason they can not be used for building an effective high performance team.The next step in a team building process is to discover how to assemble a complete team.HOW TO DO IT - LOOKING AT PEOPLEWhat determines how people work well within a team is not what they do, but the way they dot it; the way they approach everything they do, inside a team or outside it. It's not something they learned at school or during any training they may have had. It's not something which their past experience has taught them. It's become built into them over time. Most importantly of all, it's something which they are unlikely to be able to change quickly:THEIR ROLEParents, school, friends, role models, all have had an influence on the way we respond to tasks and behave over a long period of time.Some people are logical thinkers, some are analytical thinkers. Some always look to the future, some always to the past. Good salesman, good negotiators, creative problem solvers, all are recognisable types of person. They all have a unique character.The key development is to study character and then to work on personal relations. Forget about function - what people do - and instead concentrate on their characteristics - the way they do things. In each case it's the characteristics of the people involved which count, or more accurately, the individual personality.TEAMBUILDING PROGRAMMEThe first step in moving towards a successful team is to discover the roles the team prefer to play. This is the key to increasing the team working satisfaction and identifying a team identity which will be a secure support at times when ...


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