Teams: A Key Ingredient for High-Performing Organizations
Posted on July 11, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Every organization wants to succeed and be considered a high-performing organization. The tough part is allowing this to happen. We have all seen high-performing organizations such as General Motors collapse. Industrial-organizational psychologists argue that although there are circumstances such as economic recessions that organizations have little control over, organizations should be proactive.
High-performing organizations such as Motorola, 3M, and General Electric have had continued success even during the economic recession. All three companies are at the top of their specialties because of the use of teams as a competitive edge. This is not to say that implementing teams in an organization will magically improve the success of the organization, but there is the possibility that using teams will lead to increased success. Organizations are best suited to look at areas in need of improvement and determine whether or not teams would be applicable in the organization.
There are several benefits from using teams in organizations that have been studied:
- Significant performance challenges energize teams regardless of where they are in an organization.
- Organizational leaders can foster teams performance best by building a strong performance ethic rather than by establishing a team-promoting environment alone.
- Biases toward individualism exist but need not get in the way of team performance.
- Discipline-both within the team and across the organization-creates the conditions for team performance.
Should an organizations decided to use teams in the workplace, the organization should be aware that employees may exhibit resistance. As in any setting, some people do not like to work in teams. Some people work better individually, and therefore, may not warm up to the idea of teams in the workplace. Therefore, the organization must demonstrate the positive outcomes that can be accomplished by using team-building activities and ensuring the team meetings utilize time as best as possible. When the organization shows a vested interest in teams, the hope will be that all employees will accept the change as well.
Reference: Katzenbach, J., & Smith, D. (1993). The Wisdom of Teams. Harvard Business School