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DEFINITION What is a team?

Katzenbach & Smith defined a team as a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable 4.3 WHAT IS TEAM WORK? As per the definition provided above by Katzenbach & Smith, the characteristics of teams are as follows: 1. Teams are basic units of performance for the organisations. They meld together the skills, experiences and insights of several people. 2. Teamwork applies to the whole organisation as well as to specific teams. Teams represent a set of values that encourage behaviours such as listening and responding cooperatively to points of views expressed by others. 3. Teams are created and energised by significant and demanding performance challenges. 4. Teams outperform individuals acting alone or in large organisational groupings, especially when performance requires multiple skills, judgements and experiences. 5. Teams are flexible and responsive to changing events and demands. They can adjust their approach to new information and challenges with greater speed, accuracy and effectiveness than can individuals caught in the web of larger organisational connections. 6. High performance teams invest much time and effort exploring, shaping and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them, both collectively and individually. They are characterised by a deep sense of commitment to their growth and success. Activity 1 i) Name the essential elements to form a team. ii) What, according to you, are the important characteristics of a team? 4.4 TEAM EFFECTIVENESS An effective team has to have certain characteristics. An effective team needs to: 1. be structured. 2. have a leadership. 3. have methods of operation. 4. have commitment of the whole work group. According to Mc Gregor, the main features of a well functioning and creative team are as follows: 1. The atmosphere tends to be informal, comfortable and relaxed. 2. There is a lot of discussion in which initially everyone participates, but it remains pertinent to the task of the group. 3. The task or objective of the team is well understood and accepted by the members. 4. The members listen to each other. Every idea is given a hearing. 5. There is disagreement. Disagreements are not suppressed or overridden by premature team action. 6. Most decisions are reached by consensus in which it is clear that everbody is in general agreement and willing to go along.

7. Criticism is frequent, frank and relatively comfortable. There is little evidence of personal attack, either openly or in a hidden fashion. 8. People are free in expressing their feelings as well as their ideas both on the problem and on groups operation. 9. When action is taken, clear assignments are made and accepted. 10. The leader of the team does not dominate the group. There is no struggle for power. Activity 2 Replacement (Consider your class team) Are the above-mentioned features reasonably present in the team? Explain why? (or why not?) Wickens specified in his research that effective teamwork is not dependent on people working in groups but upon everyone working towards the same objectives. The essence of all members of the team working towards the same objectives is based on: - promoting mutual trust and cooperation between the company, the union and employees. - recognising that all employees, at whatever level, have a valued part to play in the success of the company. - seeking actively the contributions of all employees in furthering these goals. 4.5 CHECKLIST FOR EFFECTIVE TEAM WORK 1. Establish urgency and direction. 2. Select members based on skills and skill potential, not personalities. 3. Pay particular attention to meetings and action. 4. Set immediate performance-oriented tasks and goals. 5. Set overlapping and interlocking objectives for people who have to work hard. 6. Assess peoples performance not only on the results they achieve. 7. Encourage people to build networks. 8. Set up interdepartmental project teams with brief to get on with it. 9. Describe and think of the organisation as a system of interlocking teams. 10. Hold special off the job meetings for work teams. 11. Use training programmes to build relationships. 12. Use team building and interactive skills training to supplement the other approaches. Activity 3 i) In what ways can teams and team working help to achieve organisational effectiveness? ii) Under what circumstances may team work be positive to the organisation?