Many organizations rely on the belief that teams automatically add value by being more creative and productive than the aggregated efforts of individuals. However, J. Richard Hackman asserts that leaders cannot always depend on teams to magically come together, work well together, and perform above and beyond the aggregate efforts of individuals. Instead, Hackman argues teams more frequently underperform than excel. This occurs when leadership does not clearly define the team in terms of membership, the team does not have a clear purpose for being together, unstructured in terms of tasks and norms, or reward structure in place does not facilitate teamwork (Coutu, 2009).
Thus, for teams to be successful, managers have to build teams conscientiously and deliberately. For this Shared Practice, place yourself in the role of the manager who has to assemble a team to work on an important project. Managers need to carefully consider the need and types of resources for the team, the characteristics of the team members and the behaviors that lead to productive teams.
With these thoughts in mind:
Prepare a response with references based on your own experience, observations, and this week’s content that addresses the following:
- Describe three characteristics/behaviors of individual team members that you think are most important for establishing a collaborative team environment. Explain why you selected these characteristics/behaviors, how they contribute to a functioning team, and provide an example of each, based on your experience or your readings this week.
- Describe three characteristics/behaviors of individual team members that you think are most likely to lead to team dysfunction or lack of collaboration. Explain why you selected these characteristics/behaviors and provide an example of each based on your experience or your readings this week. Include suggestions on how to mitigate or manage the impact of these characteristics/behaviors on the functioning of the team.
As a manager, explain what you would do specifically to create an environment in which teams are more likely to be productive and successful. Include steps you would take, as a manager, to monitor how well the team is functioning and how your strategies are impacting the team productivity and success?