In this lesson, you will have a look at what a team represents, followed by an exercise which will help you discover if your team is, indeed, a team.
Teams come in many shapes and sizes. A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve a goal and share the responsibility and the rewards. It usually comprises of 3-12 people. More than 12 and you have sub teams. Most organisations structure a team around a manager or leader, but often the members operate in silos, focusing on individual goals and activities. This is team by hierarchy, and teamwork is rare. You can be part of multiple teams and hold different roles in different teams. Example, a leader may be on the board, the leadership team, a project sponsor and lead a team of their own.
‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’
Traditionally, teams are organised around reporting lines rather than goals and objectives. By that, I mean that the team is usually a collection of individuals who report to the same person. LeaderX sees a team as a group of between 3-12 people who share a common goal or purpose and equally share the rewards and responsibilities for achieving them. On paper, they may report to different people, such as contractors or temporary members of staff. They may be part of multiple teams at the same time and come together for a specific project or task. The key is that the team is responsible for delivering the goals or purpose of the team – together.
But IS YOUR TEAM REALLY A TEAM?
Now is the time to be completely honest with yourself. Write down the answers to the following questions:
Once you have answered the 5 questions above, it is time to ask yourself:
IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR TEAM CLEAR TO ALL MEMBERS? In my experience, before the MyTeam step is done, team members are confused about the team purpose and strategy. Each individual understands their role, but they aren’t clear about what the group is prioritising or setting out to achieve. In senior teams, the members often don’t even recognise that they are a team, and instead describe their team as the people who report into them. The senior team should be the number one team, whose purpose is to achieve the business vision, mission and objectives collectively. They then organise the staff that report into them to achieve the overarching number one team’s purpose. They need to remove their functional hats and put their team hats on.
It is important to bear in mind that your team is not just a group of people who work together. You and your team will have to work dynamically and interdependently to achieve the goals.