Why are teams important?
In nature, the military, sport and business teams are a natural and effective mechanism (when well managed) for ensuring survival in hostile, competitive or rapidly changing environments.
In response to any complex, important or large challenge a good team will be far more effective than an individual or even a group of individuals that comes together to form just an ad-hoc working group.
High / Organisational Level
Increasingly organisations are expected to achieve more with less in generally flatter organisational structures, and so interdependence is essential to enable this. Individuals in isolation cannot possibly cover the complexities of situations and demands that require different skills and approaches to be able to deliver results.
People often need to work between or across functions now and not just within them. This requires a high degree of collaboration / teamwork.
Rapid change requires quicker responses and more flexibility to remain competitive. This means an increased need for teamwork / collaborative decision-making.
With higher demand for employee engagement comes far higher expectations of being consulted and involved in decision-making to remain engaged. This increases demand for team based approaches to decision-making and operations from people themselves and that creates in turn a high sense of involvement, team spirit / belonging.
Increased use of project / alliance / multi-disciplinary teams to tackle major projects then disband requires high degree of quality teamwork.
Roles of managers and leaders in companies are now much less directive and teams become more important as units are empowered to achieve results with less overt direction and so the calibre of teamwork is increasingly important.
Improvement and learning across organisations to enable growth and development is increasingly reliant on teams to ensure that diverse real world experiences and lessons learned are shared and holistic and pragmatic solutions are found.
Day to Day / Person to Person Level
There are at least 8 to 9 major clusters of behavioural input that are readily observable as being effective within organisations and that bring to any challenge such attributes as leadership, planning, creativity, liaison, relationship development, implementation, attention to detail, technical input etc. Individuals invariably do not possess all of these in great strength, but rather have a blend of natural, manageable and least preferred roles. The real world implication of this difference is that one person naturally cannot cover all bases with regards to these team role strengths (as nobody possesses all of them in high strength), and thus teams are essential to be able to tackle complex, large or important tasks that an individual alone cannot handle in there totality. It’s not just an issue of volume of work, it’s equally about balanced approaches at the right stages of the life cycle of any given challenge or situation.
Teams succeed or fail one relationship at a time and different team role types, each of which brings different but equally valuable contributions to the table, are required to enable organisations to deal with increasingly complex business environments.
Different people bring different levels of strength and weakness to any situation and so an effective team is the best possible way to enable individual weaknesses to be offset so that nothing is missed.