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September 22 2019.
When teamwork doesn't work !

Teams that don't perform or even those presently being formed, will never ever perform to the expectations, is due to number reasons. The basic 3 elements of any successful team are the Project, Process & People. The last element people, is most complex & often overlooked. In this article we shall look at this complex element - People, & understand, why team work fails or is bound to fail.

There are 7 common areas the senior management needs to be carefull to make team work a great success.

1. Team members don't understand the objective: The team needs to know the objective in clear & simple terms. Most common terms should be as detailed as possible.e.g Why the team is formed & what it is expected to achieve? What is the given timeframe for the objective? Is it event or calendar driven? What is the reporting process? What are the constrains (Functional,Political etc.). Is it a research, advisory, or implementation team?

2.Team is not empowered: Once the team's objective is clear it needs to have necessary authority. Otherwise it will be a responsibility without authority. Team should have management's active support. Its authority must be clearly communicated to the organisation. This is extremely important especially for self-directed teams.

3. Team members not matched to the objective: Once objective & status is clear the team building process starts. Identify the required functional,technical experience/qualification to achieve the objective. On basis of the intended end result determine best mix of thinkers, doers, analysers, innovators, planners, documentors for the assignment.

4. Team members don't understand each others working style: Every team member is unique the way he/she works in a given environment. Knowing each members' style helps in removing/avoiding the misunderstanding in the interpersonal relationships.

5. Atmosphere not conducive to innate talent: As each member brings own skills & behaviour to the assignment, team leader must encourage & allow innate strengths to flourish. Otherwise the member will not work/contribute to their full potential.

6. Team roles don't match with individual goals: Each member has a set of professional aspirations. The member hopes to realise at least some of the steps, for a significant progress towards meeting the aspirations. If the member experiences working in the team is not leading towards his aspiration, he/she will not contribute to its full ability. Hence it is important for the team leader to know each members' professional aspiration.

7. Team leader: Many times due to poor team leadership, talented team members are not able to perform to their fullest. While building a team, senior management should be extremely careful while selecting the team leader.

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