It’s hard to find work places that truly exemplify teamwork. American institutions like schools, family structures, and pastimes emphasize winning, being the best, and coming out on top. Workers are rarely raised in environments that emphasize true teamwork and collaboration.
People in every company talk about building the team and working as a team, but few understand how to create the experience of teamwork or how to develop an effective team. Belonging to a team is the result of feeling part of something larger than yourself. It has a lot to do with your understanding of the mission or objectives of your organization.
In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. You work with fellow members of the organization to produce results. Even though you have a specific job function and you belong to a specific department, you are unified with other organization members to accomplish objectives. The bigger picture drives your actions — your business functions exist to serve the bigger picture.
You need to differentiate the overall sense of teamwork from the task of developing an effective intact team that is formed to accomplish specific goals. Managers confuse these two team-building objectives. This is why so many participants of team building seminars, meetings, and retreats dismiss the experience as a failure. Managers failed to define the team they wanted to build. Developing an overall sense of teamwork is different from building an effective, focused work team.
Spend time and attention on how you build a team that will contribute most effectively to your business success. Your team members will love you, your business will soar, and empowered people will “own” and be responsible for their work processes.