Dear Colleagues, here is the next issue of A4 News. We have many relevant articles in this issue. The theme is teamwork, which is reflected in the picture below. As we grow, we will need to find innovative ways to come together even more. This newsletter is one such attempt at building teamwork. Harvard Business Review recently publishes an excellent article on this topic. The authors are Martine Hass and Mark Mortensen and the title is “The Secrets of Great Teamwork”. The link to the article is below.
- Today’s teams are different from the teams of the past: They’re far more diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic (with frequent changes in membership).
- What matters most to collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes, or behavioral styles of team members. Instead, what teams need to thrive are certain “enabling conditions.
- The Enabling Conditions
- Compelling direction
- Strong structure
- Supportive context
- Shared mindset
Among all the a compelling direction, a strong structure, and a supportive context—continue to be particularly critical to team success in today’s world.
Modern teams are vulnerable to two corrosive problems—“us versus them” thinking and incomplete information.
Larger teams are more vulnerable to poor communication, fragmentation, and free riding (due to a lack of accountability).
There are many ways team leaders can actively foster a shared identity and shared understanding and break down the barriers to cooperation and information exchange. One powerful approach is to ensure that each subgroup feels valued for its contributions toward the team’s overall goals.
For ongoing monitoring, we recommend a simple and quick temperature check: Every few months, rate your team on each of the four enabling conditions and also on the three criteria of team effectiveness. Look in particular at the lowest-scored condition and lowest-scored effectiveness criteria, and consider how they’re connected. The results will show where your team is on track as well as where problems may be brewing.
Dr. Zulfi Ahmed