The Art of Teamwork
“Teaming is a way of working together that brings people together to generate new ideas and to solve problems. People need to learn how to be a team as it doesn't come naturally in most organisations.” HBR 2017
This statement has generated many active discussions amongst the senior teams I work with and most recently with someone I admire and respect enormously and is famous for being a great leader and an effective team builder (more on that later). The very definition of what teaming is…
Teaming is a way of working together that brings people together to generate new ideas and to solve problems.
…puts into doubt the very reason for many hours of meetings and meetings and meetings that teams currently have. The statement is made to provoke us all into making sure the time we spend together is valuable, useful, inspiring and productive. Most people agree that their time together is either highly transactional and tactical or on the other side of the spectrum lacking direction, purpose and clarity of goals. According to the 2019 Human Synergistics International Research Report, teams that work in a constructive way get significantly better results. They are 60% less likely to waste time, 96% more effective (!!! I know) and quality of work improves by 69%. These statistics simply continue to confirm the evidence collected by other great researchers on teams like Daniel Kahneman, Katzenbach and Smith, Patrick Lencioni, Amy Edmondson and finally the most recent work by Google through their five year study Project Aristotle. Like lots of consultants we have built our own proven process and roadmap for effective team work and it works (just ask our clients) but the greatest barrier to team success is the buy-in to the last sentence in the above quote … People need to learn how to be a team as it doesn't come naturally in most organisations. Unless you are open to learning how to be a team and be in a team, then any number of proven roadmaps to success just won’t get you there.
The willingness to:
• Learn to be in a new team • Learn to be in a team in a changing organisational context • Learn to be in a growing team • Learn to be in a team with reduced resources
The list goes on. We are constantly learning about ourselves, each other, the changing work landscape and the mutual self destruction that can occur when we don’t pay attention to getting this magical thing called teaming right. I was so happy to be able to discuss this and more with the great and humble John Eales, Board Director and former Captain of The Australian Wallabies Rugby Union Team in my latest episode of the Fast Track Career Conversations with Margie Hartley podcast.
You can listen to the full episode here.