The emerging concept of “teamwork” is not a rehash of something that has just been dusted off or repackaged. Today, teams represent a fundamental shift – a paradigm change, in the workplace. Teamwork has reached a level of importance and inevitability that requires us to sit up and pay serious attention to its implications, opportunities and necessary actions. Acknowledging the importance of teams will enable us to take full advantage of an inherent potential. Success might very well depend on an organizations ability to build on this key perspective.
Almost 9 out of 10 companies surveyed for a 2013 Ernst & Young report agreed that the problems confronting them were now so complex that teams were becoming essential to provide effective solutions.
Teamwork is at the core of success – not finance, not strategy, not technology. Increasingly, it appears that teams – not the individual – holds the key to business success. Without them an organization cannot adapt readily in a shifting environment. Teams that work are paramount to business success. How do you select, assess, recruit and develop your teams? Do you always have the best possible team? Can you predict outcome – empowering teams to act proactively? Can you benchmark teams? When you recruit, do you take team context into account? Have you been able to measure a link between satisfied employees, teamwork and better performance? There are a range of facts that will prove helpful in finding solutions. If we truly understand that many of the complex challenges we face today must be addressed by teams rather than individuals—and that teams will help the world meet its greatest challenges—then we might also understand that innovative acts require shared and collective imagination, history, touch, timing, phrasing, understanding, connectivity, and remarkable creativity. Despite the common myth of anti-social behavior in science, the arts, and the business world, no one produces in total silence and isolation.
Teams are increasingly being used in a variety of applications by a wide range of organizations (project teams, virtual task forces, quality circles, self-directed work teams, standing committees, advisory boards, etc.). The importance of teams appears to be gaining exponentially in strength as jobs get bigger, organizational structures get more complex, and more and more companies become multi-national in scope. In today’s shifting business environment, it appears the team – not the individual – holds the key to business success.Teams, when functioning at their best, represent an augmented version of our individual selves.