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Organizations consist of groups of people. A
group is a collection of individuals.
Within an organization, groups might consist
of project-related groups such as a product
group or division or they can encompass an
entire store or branch of a company.
The performance of a group consists of the
inputs of the group minus any process losses
such as the quality of a product, ramp-up time
to production, or the sales for a given month.
Process loss is any aspect of group interaction
that inhibits group functioning.
A team is a particular type of group: a cohesive
coalition of people working together to achieve
mutual goals.
Being on a team does not equate to a total
suppression of personal agendas, but it does
require a commitment to the vision and involves
each individual working toward accomplishing
the teams objective.
Teams differ from other types of groups in that
members are focused on a joint goal or product,
such as a presentation, discussing a topic, writing
a report, creating a new design or prototype, or
winning a team Olympic medal.

Moreover, teams also tend to be defined by
their relatively smaller size.
For instance, according to one definition, A
team is a small number of people with
complementary skills who are committed to a
common purpose, performance goals, and
approach for which they are mutually
The key properties of a true team
include collaborative action where, along with
a common goal, teams have collaborative
Conversely, in a group, individuals are
responsible only for their own area. They also
share the rewards of strong team
performance with their compensation based
on shared outcomes.
Compensation of individuals must be based
primarily on a shared outcome, not individual

Members are also willing to sacrifice for the
common good in which individuals give up
scarce resources for the common good instead
of competing for those resources.
For example, teams occur in sports such as
soccer and basketball, in which the individuals
actively help each other, forgo their own
chance to score by passing the ball, and win or
lose collectively as a team.

The purpose of assembling a team is to accomplish
larger, more complex goals than what would be
possible for an individual working alone or even the
simple sum of several individuals working
Teamwork is also needed in cases where multiple skills
are tapped or where buy-in is required from several
Working together to further a team agenda seems to
increase mutual cooperation between what are often
competing factions.
The aim and purpose of a team is to perform, get
results, and achieve victory in the workplace.
The best managers are those who can gather together
a group of individuals and mold them into an effective
Designing Effective Teams
Designing an effective team means making
decisions about team composition (who should
be on the team), team size (the optimal number
of people on the team), and team diversity
(should team members be of similar background,
such as all engineers, or of different
Answering these questions will depend, to a large
extent, on the type of task that the team will be
Teams can be charged with a variety of tasks,
from problem solving to generating creative and
innovative ideas to managing the daily operations
of a manufacturing plant.
A key consideration when forming a team is to
ensure that all the team members
are qualified for the roles they will fill for the
This process often entails understanding the
knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of team
members as well as the personality traits
needed before starting the selection process.
In addition to task knowledge, research has
shown that individuals who understand
concepts such as conflict resolution,
motivation, planning, and leadership actually
perform better on their jobs.
Research has shown that regardless of team size,
the most active team member speaks 43% of the
The difference is that the team member who
participates the least in a three-person team is
still active 23% of the time versus only 3% in a 10-
person team.
The relationship between team size and
performance seems to greatly depend on the
level of task interdependence, with some studies
finding larger teams out producing smaller teams
and other studies finding just the opposite.
The bottom line is that team size should be
matched to the goals of the team.

Team composition and team diversity often go
hand in hand.
Teams whose members have complementary
skills are often more successful because members
can see each others blind spots.
One team members strengths can compensate
for anothers weaknesses.
For example, consider the challenge that
companies face when trying to forecast future
sales of a given product.
Workers who are educated as forecasters have
the analytic skills needed for forecasting, but
these workers often lack critical information
about customers.
Salespeople, in contrast, regularly
communicate with customers, which means
theyre in the know about upcoming customer
But salespeople often lack the analytic skills,
discipline, or desire to enter this knowledge
into spreadsheets and software that will help
a company forecast future sales.
Putting forecasters and salespeople together
on a team tasked with determining the most
accurate product forecast each quarter makes
the best use of each members skills and
Teams in Organizations
The use of teams began to increase because
advances in technology have resulted in more
complex systems that require contributions from
multiple people across the organization.
Overall, team-based organizations have more
motivation and involvement, and teams can often
accomplish more than individuals.
The early 1990s saw a dramatic rise in the use of
teams within organizations, along with dramatic
results such as the Miller Brewing Company
increasing productivity 30% in the plants that
used self-directed teams compared with those
that used the traditional organization.
This same method allowed Texas Instruments
in Malaysia to reduce defects from 100 parts
per million to 20 parts per million.
In addition, Westinghouse reduced its cycle
time from 12 weeks to 2 weeks, and Harris
Electronics was able to achieve an 18%
reduction in costs.

The team method has served countless
companies over the years through both
quantifiable improvements and more subtle
individual worker-related benefits.
Companies such as Square D, a maker of circuit
breakers, switched to self-directed teams and
found that overtime on machines like the punch
press dropped 70% under teams.
Productivity increased because the setup
operators were able to manipulate the work in
much more effective ways than a supervisor
could dictate.
In 2001, clothing retailer Chicos FAS was looking
to grow its business. The company hired Scott
Edmonds as president, and two years later
revenues had almost doubled from $378 million
to $760 million.

By 2006, revenues were $1.6 billion, and
Chicos had nine years of double-digit same-
store sales growth. What did Edmonds do to
get these results?
He created a horizontal organization ruled by
high-performance teams with real decision-
making clout and accountability for results,
rather than by committees that pass decisions
up to the next level or toss them over the wall
into the nearest silo.
As early as the 1970s, J. R. Hackman identified
three major classes of tasks: (1) production tasks,
(2) idea generation tasks, and (3) problem-solving
Production tasks include actually making
something, such as a building, a product, or a
marketing plan.
Idea generation tasks deal with creative tasks,
such as brainstorming a new direction or creating
a new process.
Problem-solving tasks refer to coming up with
plans for actions and making decisions, both
facets of managerial P-O-L-C functions (planning
and leading).

For example, a team may be charged with
coming up with a new marketing slogan,
which is an idea generation task, while
another team might be asked to manage an
entire line of products, including making
decisions about products to produce,
managing the production of the product lines,
marketing them, and staffing their division.
The second team has all three types of tasks
to accomplish at different points in time.
Goals Of Teams
Typical team goals are improving quality, reducing
costs, and meeting deadlines.
Teams also have a stretch goal, which is difficult to
reach but important to the business unit.
Many teams also have special project goals. Texas
Instruments (TI), a company that makes
semiconductors, used self-directed teams to make
improvements in work processes.
Teams were allowed to set their own goals in
conjunction with managers and other teams.
TI also added an individual component to the typical
team compensation system. This individual component
rewarded team members for learning new skills that
added to their knowledge.
These knowledge blocks include topics such
as leadership, administration, and problem
The team decides what additional skills people
might need to help the team meet its
Team members would then take classes or
otherwise demonstrate their proficiency in
that new skill on the job to be certified for
mastering the skill.
Individuals could then be evaluated based on
their contribution to the team and how they
are building skills to support the team.
Initiative, expertise, decisiveness, years of
experience, a strong point of view and a laser-
like focus on results
The employees and leaders on whom you
most depend exhibit these qualities.
Yet when these talented individuals join
forces on a leadership team or a high-profile
project team, their personal strengths dont
always mesh effectively to deliver on mission-
critical goals.
Too often, bad teams happen to high
High-performance teams depend on a shared mission,
vision and values to align their personal interests,
harness their collective expertise and focus their
individual efforts.
They establish clear roles and responsibilities - plus a
framework for making decisions and resolving
conflicts. Most important, they commit to an
environment of trust.
Members of high-performance teams:
Demonstrate a blend of professional expertise and
personal credibility
Hold themselves and each other accountable for the
broader impact of their actions, foregoing "turf wars"
Are skillful, candid communicators, balancing advocacy
with openness to others ideas.

Vision Statements and Mission Statements are the inspiring
words chosen by successful leaders to clearly and concisely
convey the direction of the organization.
By crafting a clear mission statement and vision statement,
you can powerfully communicate your intentions and
motivate your team or organization to realize an attractive
and inspiring common vision of the future.
"Mission Statements" and "Vision Statements" do two
distinctly different jobs.
A Mission Statement defines the organization's purpose
and primary objectives.
Its prime function is internal to define the key measure or
measures of the organization's success and its prime
audience is the leadership team and stockholders.
Vision Statements also define the
organizations purpose, but this time they do
so in terms of the organization's values rather
than bottom line measures (values are guiding
beliefs about how things should be done.)
The vision statement communicates both the
purpose and values of the organization.
For employees, it gives direction about how
they are expected to behave and inspires
them to give their best.
Shared with customers, it shapes customers'
understanding of why they should work with
the organization


Dr Bruce Tuckman published his Forming Storming Norming
Performing model in 1965.
He added a fifth stage, Adjourning, in the 1970s. The Forming
Storming Norming Performing theory is an elegant and helpful
explanation of team development and behaviour
Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity and
ability, relationships establish, and the leader changes leadership
Beginning with a directing style, moving through coaching, then
participating, finishing delegating and almost detached.
At this point the team may produce a successor leader and the
previous leader can move on to develop a new team.
This progression of team behaviour and leadership style can be
seen clearly in the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum - the
authority and freedom extended by the leader to the team
increases while the control of the leader reduces.
The Rationale Behind Team Building Programs
The goal of team building activities is typically to
nurture cognizance of the esprit de corps and to
boost loyalty to the teams apportioned goals and
The appropriate way utilized, these activities can
strengthen robust interpersonal relationships
which aid to bond the team nearer together.
The aim of team improvement should
incorporate the support of individual team
members to collaborate together in the teams
workplace environment, mingling and combining
skills into a combined effort so that each
individuals goal accomplishment is plugged into
the greater overall team goal accomplishment.
Meredith Belbin studied team-work for many
years, and he observed that people in teams
tend to assume different "team roles."
He defined a team role as "a tendency to
behave, contribute and interrelate with others
in a particular way" and named nine such
team roles that underlie team success.
Belbin suggests that, by understanding your
role within a particular team, you can develop
your strengths and manage your weaknesses
as a team member, and so improve how you
contribute to the team.
Teams can become unbalanced if all team
members have similar styles of behavior or
team roles.
If team members have similar weakness, the
team as a whole may tend to have that
If team members have similar team-work
strengths, they may tend to compete (rather
than co-operate) for the team tasks and
responsibilities that best suit their natural
Belbin identified nine team roles and he
categorized those roles into three groups:
Action Oriented, People Oriented, and Thought
Oriented. Each team role is associated with
typical behavioral and interpersonal strengths.
Belbin also defined characteristic weaknesses
that tend to accompany each team role.
He called the characteristic weaknesses of team-
roles the "allowable" weaknesses; as for any
behavioral weakness, these are areas to be aware
of and potentially improve.
The nine team-roles are:
Action Oriented Roles

Shaper (SH)
Shapers are people who challenge the team to
improve. They are dynamic and usually
extroverted people who enjoy stimulating
others, questioning norms, and finding the
best approaches for solving problems.
Their potential weaknesses may be that
they're argumentative, and that they may
offend people's feelings.

Implementer (IMP)
Implementers are the people who get things
done. They turn the team's ideas and concepts
into practical actions and plans.
They are typically conservative, disciplined
people who work systematically and efficiently
and are very well organized. These are the people
who you can count on to get the job done.
On the downside, Implementers may be inflexible
and can be somewhat resistant to change.

Completer-Finisher (CF)
Completer-Finishers are the people who see that
projects are completed thoroughly.
They ensure there have been no errors or
omissions, and they pay attention to the smallest
of details.
They are very concerned with deadlines, and will
push the team to make sure the job is completed
on time. They are described as perfectionists who
are orderly, conscientious, and anxious.
However, a Completer-Finisher may worry
unnecessarily, and may find it hard to delegate
People Oriented Roles
Coordinator (CO)
Coordinators are the ones who take on the
traditional team-leader role and have also been
referred to as the chairmen.
They guide the team to what they perceive are
the objectives. They are often excellent listeners
and they are naturally able to recognize the value
that each team members brings to the table.
They are calm and good-natured and delegate
tasks very effectively.
Their potential weaknesses are that they may
delegate away too much personal responsibility,
and may tend to be manipulative.
Team Worker (TW)
Team Workers are the people who provide
support and make sure that people within the
team are working together effectively.
These people fill the role of negotiators within
the team and they are flexible, diplomatic, and
These tend to be popular people who are very
capable in their own right, but who prioritize
team cohesion and helping people getting along.
Their weaknesses may be a tendency to be
indecisive, and to maintain uncommitted
positions during discussions and decision-making.
Thought Oriented Roles
Plant (PL)
The Plant is the creative innovator who comes
up with new ideas and approaches.
They thrive on praise, but criticism is
especially hard for them to deal with.
Plants are often introverted and prefer to
work apart from the team. Because their ideas
are so novel, they can be impractical at times.
They may be poor communicators and can
tend to ignore given parameters and
Monitor-Evaluator (ME)
Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and
evaluating ideas that other people (often
Plants) come up with.
These people are shrewd and objective, and
they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all
the options before coming to a decision.
Monitor-Evaluators are critical thinkers and
very strategic in their approach.
They are often perceived as detached or
unemotional. Sometimes they are poor
motivators, who react to events rather than
instigating them

Specialist (SP)
Specialists are people who have specialized
knowledge that is needed to get the job done.
They pride themselves on their skills and
abilities, and they work to maintain their
professional status.
Their job within the team is to be an expert in
the area, and they commit themselves fully to
their field of expertise.
This may limit their contribution, and lead to a
preoccupation with technicalities at the
expense of the bigger picture.

FIRO Theory
FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations
Orientation) is a comprehensive and widely-
used theory of interpersonal relations created
by Will Schutz, Ph.D., and introduced in 1958
in the book FIRO: A Three-Dimensional Theory
of Interpersonal Behavior.
Schutz originally devised the theory to
measure and predict the interaction between
people for the purpose of assembling highly
productive teams.
FIRO Team Role Description

Presents issues or solutions for clarification,
summarizes discussion, introduces new members
to the team, keeps team members up to date,
provides the group with facts and data.
Helps move the team along by joking or clowning
at appropriate moments, redirects the group at
tense moments, builds on common interests in
the group.
Is not an active team player, sees meetings as
unnecessary or distracting, may work on other tasks or
hold side conversations during meetings, may not
follow through or cooperate with group decisions.
Pushes for action and decision-making, may interrupt
others or monopolize the air-time in meetings, may
be unrealistically optimistic about what can be
Seeks orientation and clarification, is a constructive
critic of the team and its members, may use questions
to postpone closure or decisions.
Struggles to establish a position within the group,
may criticize others, challenges the status quo,
may refuse to comply with group decisions,
provides alternative ideas but may have difficulty
with follow-through.
Builds the ego or status of others, is friendly,
responsive, warm, diplomatic, may sacrifice the
truth to maintain good relationships.
Maintains a participatory attitude and interest
nonverbally, is involved in group goals, shows
interest by receptive facial and bodily
Expresses concern about the direction of the
group, relays doubts about the success of
initiatives planned, shows reluctance to get swept
up in group energy, provides careful analysis of
potential problems, may play devils advocate.
Suggests procedures or problems as discussion
topics, proposes alternative solutions, is the idea
person, actively encourages others to share in
EnergizerUrges the team toward decision-making,
insists on covering the agenda, prods the team to

States a belief or opinion on all problems and issues, offers
predictions based on past experiences, works
independently from the group, does not try to become part
of the leaders inner circle.
Agrees with the group, reconciles opposing positions,
understands, complies, and accepts.
Checks for agreement, brings closure to discussions,
confronts unacknowledged feelings in the group, wants to
build a close-knit, powerful team.
Tries to keep the group focussed on its central purpose and
required outcomes, ignores social chitchat, believes that
the team members do not have to like each other to do the
job, reminds the group that this is business, not a family.