Building Teamwork in Organizations

Why does teamwork in organizations break down, or never get established in the first place?

Anyone who works in a team setting knows the ideas and benefits encouraging us to work in teams. . . maximizing people's strengths, minimizing their weaknesses.

The great CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch wrote in his book On War:

Detailed planning necessarily failed due to inevitable frictions encountered, chance events, imperfections in execution, and the independent will of the opposition. . . Strategy was not a lengthy action plan. It was an evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances. --Jack Welch

Knowing the benefits of teamwork why do you think it breaks down so often?

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Knowing how a good team can help meet an organization's goals and propel it closer to success, teamwork still fails.

Why? If you work in a corporate setting the answer is clear. Big business, is well, big.

Big business moves slow, acts slow. Within a sluggish company, individuals must make decisions based the things best for them individually.

This type of individualistic thought is often detrimental to team chemistry. But you know it happens all the time at the sake other people and of good teamwork in organizations.

So how can you be a good manager and encourage healthy, productive teamwork within your organization?

Jim Snedeker offers some unique insights and advice using the principles of good team building while organizing a worship team for his church.

Encourage 'Intrapreneurship'

Giford Pinchot came up with the term "Intrapreneur" in his 1985 book by the same name. Pinchot says 'Intrapreneurs' are "dreamers who do."

Intrapreneurs follow their good ideas to the end, even through the conflict and doubt they face, in an attempt to facilitate change in order to reach the shared goals of the entire organization.

Teamwork is going to break down, it's that simple.

When people work closely together for any length of time, conflict arises

But, if you can strategically reinforce and evolve the "central idea" that drives your team, you can position your team to win in the end.

As Sun Tzu wrote over 2000 years ago:

He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.

--Sun Tzu

People ultimately want to work together, they want to succeed.

Winning is a natural human drive.

In a team setting, people will work together if they experience a mutually beneficial partnership where they receive what they need.

Still, pride, poor communication, misunderstanding, and lack of trust continually undermines teamwork in organizations.

Structuring your organizational strategy around a strong "central idea" that your entire team "buys into" is the secret to real cooperation and teamwork that gets results.

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Robert Broughton
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