Module 25 – The Case for Teams


Develop the ability to define the hallmarks of excellent teamwork, understand the significance of teams, and possess the know-how to construct an effective, high-performing team from scratch.


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So, moving on then from visions and strategies, we then need to look at how we might take forward our strategy and as you deliver on it.

Now any strategy is going to involve change. And as a leader, it’s for you to drive that change through, to take it forward, and to get it actually achieved, and to deliver the results that are required. One of the key ways you’re going to do that, in fact, the only way you’re going to do that, is by taking your team, indeed, taking all people in your business with you. Teamwork is the only way you’re going to deliver on big change. And what we’ve spoken about how we might motivate people. We’ve spoken a bit about the importance of teamwork. But now we need to close with the detail of how we build strong robust teams. And we’ll do more of that in the next segment.

But for now, let’s just look at the case for teams and the importance of teams, and what teamwork really achieves. So, we understand that before looking at how we get teams together. There’s a lot of good work done by Patrick Lencioni on teamwork and trust behaviors, and we’ll talk more about that in the next segment. But a nice little statistic which I’ve heard quoted is around problems. It’s so called the iceberg of ignorance. What it says is that one hundred percent of the problems in a business are known to all the members, the junior members of the team. 74 percent of them are known to team leaders, 9 percent of them to managers, but only 4 percent of operating problems are known to the senior management team.

What that means is if that senior management team is disconnected from the shop floor, from the ordinary workers, people who actually deliver your strategy. Then your strategy is going to run at a higher degree of risk, and a risk of failure. If your team knows all the problems there are, then your team needs to be coordinated and tackling those problems. So, you need good teamwork to ensure that all the challenges are taken care of.

But it’s not just about problems. It’s not just about communications. In business, when you’re trying to affect change, when you’ve got complexity, you’re building big systems, new processes. You’re trialing things out. You’re trying to push things through in a rapid time frame. All of these involve strong, cohesive teams. Teams that otherwise might fall apart, might bicker. People might fall back on petty prejudice, differences between individuals, petty arguments. A strong team will always pull together whatever happens to them. So, you need to be able to align your strategic objectives, your processes, and your people, so that they all come together to deliver.

Good teamwork isn’t something that’s optional. Good teamwork isn’t something that happens by accident, good teamwork is absolutely vital if you are to achieve your mission, if you are going to get your strategy livid, and achieve your vision.

So read some more of this material about the value, the importance, and the significance of teamwork. Teamwork is vital. And what I ask you to do today is just to reflect on the teamwork that exists in your business. Do you pull together as a team? Could you be better as a team? Look across at other teams. Are they good? Better than yours? Not so good are yours? Look for what makes a really effective team. And then we’ll talk a bit more about that in the next segment. But for today, look, observe, and think about teams, what you’ve got today in business today, and what you’ve experienced in the past. And then we’ll use that reflection to drive us forward with some new knowledge in the next segment.