Why Bother?
Effective teams are a vital part of a mix that makes up a successful business these days. Your people must be comfortable working together in a variety of team formats (cross-functional, breakthrough, project) and be willing to commit to team purpose. And they must be able to settle and start co-operating quickly.

What it isn't
Teams are not built by shooting paintballs at each other, driving karts, or playing golf. Shame, because we all enjoy these sorts of things, these things are fun and have a role as a perk or reward.

We do however recognise that there is a difference between these and teambuilding activities. In fact certain fun activities can be divisive, and among new teams can establish relationship problems from the start, so be careful.

It isn't something the manager detaches from and observes. The detached manager looks at team development as something that will help others change, so that the team will function more effectively. However, the most influential person in most teams is the formal leader or manager. Like it or not, you set the tone for the team, whether intentionally or intentionally, and it is inevitable that team effectiveness cannot be improved unless the manager is willing to look at his/her contributions to the team. Management usually has to change too.

If you aren't willing to hear from employees how your behaviour impacts the team (negatively or positively), don't do team- building. The worst thing you can do is start the process and refuse to acknowledge that you are a key player in the process

What it is
It is a controlled mechanism or process that allows team members to work together in a way that is both enjoyable and rewarding. Most team activities within the business are targeted with addressing problems (communication, falling sales, customer kickback, etc), and group problem solving should be at the crux of any team building activity.

It's a Learning activity
Your people should learn from the experience, translate this learning into behavioural and process changes back at the workplace. Enjoyable activities that incorporate appropriate plenary sessions to draw out learning and develop implementation plans.

Successful teams need:

  • To be comfortable in each others company and to be able to relate to each others talents and skills
  • Have clearly stated and commonly held vision and goals
  • The talent and skills required to meet goals
  • Clear roles and functions
  • Agreed procedures and norms
  • A system of reinforcement and celebration
  • Clear understanding of the team's relationship to the greater organisation

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