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The value of teams

Posted by Meg Bear on December 13, 2007


team.jpgBack in school (go cats), it was all the rage in the business program to have the majority of our work be team-based.  The thinking being, that in a work environment, it is really more about teams then individuals. 

Lately, I’ve been reading and thinking about teams and Talent Management.  Of course, this has taken me all over the place a bit but I’ll do my best to make a point vs. forcing you all to wonder all over the place like I have been. 

One place I ended up was this article on emotional intelligence of teams.   To summarize, its not just important for individuals to have emotional intelligence but its also useful for teams (duh!). 

This article points to the HBR study that gives three contributing factors to high functioning teams.

  • Trust among members

  • A sense of group identity

  • A sense of group efficacy

  • Ok, so teams need to trust each other, define themselves in terms of the group and they must feel, that as a team, they have the ability to actually get something done.  Again, duh!

    Turns out that for some cultures (and for some people) a team dynamic is not just a nice to have.  Thanks to Mark for pointing me to this article that suggests that in Asia the team might be the biggest factor in engagement (see, I told you I’d attempt to bring this to a point).

    In talking to customers about teams, there are several head scratching elements that HR groups face in trying to build teams that work well together.  Why do some teams work well and others not?  Is it one person?  How do we predict which teams will succeed? and so on. 

    In my mind, it is for teams that the value of the social network can be brought to real business benefit. I would like to predict that companies that learn to leverage their social networks as both a productivity tool for teams, and as a tool for proactively identifying team members, will find a new competitive advantage for their talent.  And, if the insight into Asia is accurate, there might be exponential benefit to this strategy as well.

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