Managing Teams

The behavioral psychology of a modern man is that only as the individual joins with his fellows in groups and organizations can he hope to control the political, economic, and social forces that threaten his individual freedom (Hersey, 1996, p. 359).
One of the realities of organizational behavior is that we have to work in and with problem-solving groups in order to accomplish our aspirations.  No matter how much individual value is emphasized, almost all of the goals can only be achieved in a group. It is therefore important to apply behavioral science principals and concepts to managing teams more effectively.
Creating and managing teams in the workplace can lead to effective outcomes. Teams (formal work groups) are increasingly viewed as productivity engines and just like engines, they require constant care and maintenance (Dumaine, 1994 pp. 86-92). Organizations that are willing to invest in matching the right type of team to the right situation are getting very high returns on their investments.  Success in managing teams depends upon clear and decisive executive management, vision, training as well as involvement of cross-functional group of employees (Hersey, 1996, p. 360). According to Brian Dumaine, there are five types of teams:

Problem-Solving Teams: Identify and attack a problem and then disband.
Management Teams: Coordinate work from different departments and functions.
Work Teams: These are self-managed teams doing daily work.
Virtual Teams: They accelerate and use high technology communications to exchange ideas and roles.
Quality Circles Groups: They consist of workers and supervisors who meet periodically to address problems.
Managing a Productive Team
Success in creating a productive team also depends upon the way the teams are put together and how they draw on their experiences. It also depends on how the team is designed.
Teams that learned new procedures quickly share three essential characters. They were designed for learning; their leaders framed challenges in such a way that team members were highly motivated to learn; and the leaders’ behavior created an environment of psychological safety that fostered communication and innovation. Another critical aspect of team designing was the extent to which substitution is permitted. For that leaders need to develop conditions for team members such as establishing open communication and developing trust a sense of camaraderie.
Executive management team can also dilute the complexity of surrounding strategic issues by giving more sophisticated analyses and comprehensive solutions as well as establishing an appropriate atmosphere for the team because perceptions become reality, understand and manage them; investigate the gaps between perceptions and reality; and act decisively to correct gross misperceptions. As Douglas K. Smith suggests, “in the end, the wisdom of teams is within the team itself. It is not in creating the high performance organization, managing transformational change, enforcing corporate performance ethics, or inspiring new dimensions of leadership. It is in a small group of people so committed to something larger than them that they will not be denied” (Ward, 2007, pp. 85-90).
It is important to develop teams of people (human resource) to fulfill goals and objectives according to a company’s entrepreneurial vision. The internal environment of any organization would favor and encourage corporate team building policies, a complete corporate culture and values to achieve organizational goals and vision.
Creating and Managing Teams from
John R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, The Wisdom of Teams.

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