The Trick of Teamwork
August 13, 2018
August 13, 2018
Our working world is different today than in the past. The way we work, the way our organizations work, and the way our world works, all change with time. Things can not continue to be done in ways that worked in the past; otherwise, we can not expect to experience success in the present.
Many things have contributed to this change, but one main motivator of this movement has been the economy. Organizations want to do more with less, or if necessary, they want to produce the same quality and quantity of work without the same quality and quantity of workers.
This creates an interesting equation. How do we get more output without investing in more input? One solution? TEAMWORK.
Teamwork is trendy right now because it is one attempt to answer the get more with less endeavor. We all know the saying two heads are better than one, but it's true, when you get a group together, with the right mix of skills and commitment, their interaction as a team has the potential to generate more than the sum of what each individual can accomplish alone. Yes, tension, conflict and disagreement come with the territory, but done with skill and effectiveness, the successes will almost always outweigh the struggles.
Look at it like this.
Let's say that you were asked to stand at the top of a twelve-story building to determine how many individuals consistently walked on that particular block every single day of the week. In other words, you would need to remember faces, times of day, and frequencies, in order to get an approximate answer. And you are given 8 weeks to do this. Essentially, you've got 8 attempts to get it right. Sounds pretty daunting, right?
Now, let's say you were given 7 other team members to complete the same goal in a quarter of the time. What would be different about this goal with a team?
Well, if you were doing this alone, you'd be running frantically from one side of the building to the other just to catch and count faces. You'd be exhausted at the end of every day. And at the end of the 8 weeks, you'd likely despise the assignment and feel anything but confident in your estimate.
But, if you were part of a team, you could all split into pairs and each take one side of the building. That way, you could keep an eye on your section, take pictures, and compare notes at the end of each day. It would unduly take you less time and would probably be much more fun. But, even more importantly, your answer at the end of the assignment would probably be much more accurate than a solo estimate.
The truth is: teams are powerful tools . Just like the tools you have in your home, they are most effective when used properly. Typically, you want to use a team when you must have a solution that is high in quality (the right answer) and warrants a high level of acceptance (buy in). But, in order for a team to be successful, each team member must have specific skills. Therefore, over the next few weeks, I will be writing on the top six characteristics of a successful team player.