Are You a Team? Or a Work Group? Does it Matter?

By Phillip Sandahl


Imagine a Continuum with “Work Group” on One End and “Team” at the Other

With a work group, the group’s mission can be accomplished with each member operating independently.

One facilitator / leader at the center of the circle can coordinate the efforts of the group to accomplish results.

Except for occasional communication, interaction is not required between group members.

Now go to the other end of the continuum for team. In order for the team to accomplish its mission it is essential that team members work collaboratively.

Project teams are a clear example; they have clearly defined goals, deadlines and a project budget.

Each team member plays a critical role in achieving the project’s results. Now connect the spokes and you have a wheel that can drive the team forward.

Where It Matters

Too often key teams actually settle for operating as a work group.

Working together as an effective team takes intention and conscious effort.

It’s often easier to simply operate independently.

There’s less need for communication, less chance for disagreement and negotiation with others. And—the result is the team misses the power available in actually working together.

Instead of making the effort to pull together, each member is pulling on their own oar and the result is splashing and thrashing instead of steady movement forward.

In today’s organizations, the need for team skills is paramount. Helping teams and team leaders form more cohesive, more productive, more sustainable teams—that’s our mission.

We have the tools and methodology to deliver measurable results.

If building more effective teams is part of your mission, and you’re ready to invest in your success, we encourage you to register for one of our courses.

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