As a retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and now transitioned organizing development professional and current graduate student, I have often wondered what today's scholars and practitioners encouraged regarding the crucial qualities of an effective and collaborative work team. I also openly recognize that many organizations are struggling with issues related to workforce redemption, recognition, and stressors; issues that have been eloquently addressed by Dr. Laura Baker in past offerings by way of Laura on Leading. I also understand that with my extensive experiences in team maturation, participation, and evaluation, that I have undeniable descriptive biases. However, though not intended to be exhaustive, what follows are the results of a related search of views on the qualities of a team and their required functions. Results seem to indicate that the jury could still be out on an overall cooperative agreement.
The following information represents the initial search outcomes on the qualities and necessary ingredients for establishing an effective, inclusive, and collaborative team. In an attempt to narrow my inquiry, I selected the variables of team motivation, teams that are self-managed, highly functioning, and focused on organizational goals, as search parameters. I begin with shared opinions and perspectives.
Homogeneous views. Results indicated that many scholars and practitioners advocate that there should be considerable forethought and cautious planning conducted when building an effective team and that the formulation of teams should be taken very seriously. For instance, Dyer et al. (2013) advocated that four factors should be understood and effectively managed in order to optimize team performance; they were:
(1) The context for the team,
(2) The composition of the team,
(3) The competencies of the team, and
(4) The change management skills of the team (p. 13)
Specifically, all involved must first understand the needed contextual components of the team (e.g., culture, structure, type, and systems that support teamwork, etc.). Secondly, the composition of the team requires appropriately skilled and experienced personnel who are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. Thirdly, the team also requires the ability to problem solve and operate in an efficient manner in the course of making internal decisions. Finally, the team must have the capacity to adapt to change to maximize team outcomes.
“…teams that have shared values, strategies, and deliverables, that are measurable and aligned with the organizational values and culture, were also components of high performance teams…”
“…It is vitally important that a distinction is placed on those who prefer to work individually as part of a team (identified as work groups) and those who campaign for mutual collaboration (designated as work teams) …”
Time to Weigh In!
Now, if you recall, the goal here was to create a saturation of diverse viewpoints regarding this discussion topic, that would extend the previously stated outcomes (e.g., for, against, other, etc.). This information can serve as some of the current perspectives from today’s nascent and experienced organizational leaders, practitioners, and scholars alike and in real time. Therefore, I am asking readers to weigh in. The following questions are not parameters; rather they are points for discussion stimulation, if needed.
- What are your views on the required and effective components of successful teams?
- What were some of your successes or failure that stemmed from the composition of teams?
- What actions did you take to ensure that the formulated team succeeded?
Organizing Resolutions with Starks
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 e.g., see Coleman, 2012; Curry et al., 2012; Dyer, Dyer, & Dyer, 2013; Harvey & Drolet, 2006; Lencioni, 2002; Pittinsky, 2010; Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, & Toombs, 2009
 Dyer, Dyer, & Dyer, 2013
 Argosy University, 2014, Slide 3
 e.g., see Anderson & Anderson, 2010a; 2010b, Bradberry & Greaves, 2009, Harvey & Drolet, 2006, Lencioni, 2002, and McKee, Boyatzis, & Johnston, 2008
Anderson, D., & Anderson, L. A. (2010b). The change leader’s roadmap: How to navigate your organization’s transformation. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Anderson, L. A., & Anderson, D. (2010a). Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Argosy University (2014). Argosy University Classroom [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from http://myeclassonline.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=9513118
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart.
Coleman, M. (2012). Leadership and diversity. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 40(5), 592-609. Retrieved from Proquest.com
Cox, T. (2001). Creating the multicultural organization: A strategy for capturing the power of diversity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Curry, L. A., O’Cathain, A., Clark, V. L., Aroni, R., Fetters, M., & Berg, D. (2012). The role of group dynamics in mixed methods health sciences research teams. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 6(1), 5-20. Retrieved from Proquest.com
Dyer, J. H., Dyer, W. G., & Dyer, W. G. (2013). Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Harvey, T. R., & Drolet, B. (2006). Building teams building people: Expanding the fifth resource (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
Lencioni, P. M. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
McKee, A., Boyatzis, R., & Johnston, F. (2008). Becoming a resonant leader: Develop your emotional intelligence, renew your relationships, sustain your effectiveness. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Pittinsky, T. L. (2010). A two-dimensional model of intergroup leadership: The case of national diversity. American Psychologist, 65(3), 194-200. Retrieved from Proquest.com
Pryor, M. G., Singleton, L. P., Taneja, S., & Toombs, L. A. (2009). Teaming as a strategic and tactical tool: An analysis with recommendations. International Journal of Management, 26(2), 320-333. Retrieved from Proquest.com