In an increasingly complex and information rich world, the value of collaboration is growing in importance. More and more work is being undertaken by teams rather than by individuals.
• Recognition and use of each person’s unique contribution
• Most effective ‘data collection’ in rapidly changing situations
• Engagement and satisfaction that meets the social needs of individuals and the group
• Improved interpersonal communications allowing more energy to be directed into the task
• Efficient assignment of work drawing on members’ strengths and expertise
• Quality decision making through the ‘wisdom of teams’
However, while all teams are groups of individuals,
not all groups of individuals are teams.
Simply putting together a number of people and expecting them to work together as a team is not enough.
There is technique in teamwork – and it can be done well or done poorly.
When done well, an effective team can outperform all reasonable expectations given to its individual members. That is, a team has a synergistic effect – where one plus one equals a lot more than two. This is especially so when the skills, perspectives and experiences of team members are diverse yet complementary. This diversity enables teams to respond effectively to most challenges thrown their way.
Effective teamwork increases productivity, encourages engagement,
spurs innovation and builds morale.
However, when done poorly, teams can become catalysts of communication breakdowns, unclear role boundaries, a lack of focus, poor work allocation, people in the wrong roles and process bottlenecks. If left unchecked, there are obvious implications for productivity, performance, cost, motivation and morale in the workplace. Ultimately this hampers the success of all involved - the individual, the team and the organisation.
If we’re going to build teams, we need to build them well.
It is here that
Belbin Team Role Theory can help…