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The end of week two has finally come, and to be honest I don’t know where the last five days has gone. This week in Management 300 class and discussions were solely focused around teams and what makes a team a team.

Our week focused around ‘teams’ and ‘appropriate team formation’ ended when we were finally sorted into groups (which I’m happy I wasn’t in charge of ‘cause I can imagine how hard it would have been). This got me thinking about what these students – and Peter must have actually gone through when delegating students to specific teams. The reading “Why Teams Matter” I feel is a good starting point as to how teams are chosen and points out the differences between a group of people working co-operatively and a team.

After reading “Why Teams Matter” one statement stuck in my head. This was “we have come to think of a team more precisely as a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” (Katzenbach & Smith, pg5). I personally have never attempted defining what a team was and how it’s different from a group, however this definition I feel is so accurate and sums up perfectly what is a team and why they are formed.

This got me thinking back to our teams that have been formed this week. Although I have only met my group members once for a short period of time, I still feel like the students in charge of delegating groups has done an excellent job in helping to create a group of students into a team. Like mentioned in the statement above, my group represents a small number of people with a number of complementary skills. Through introductions in our team, we decided it would be a good idea to get to know each other and each other’s background (as a way I guess to break the ice). I feel this is when I first began to notice that we did all have complementary skills. Although we all had management as a similarity, we all majored in a variety of different things ranging across all spectrums of science, arts and of course business. The difference in degrees I feel is going to hugely benefit our team as we all will specialise in different areas – which is represented through our positions, which will hopefully lead to increased success in Mikes Bikes.

The statement above also mentioned “… commitment to common purpose and performance goals” our team upon meeting yesterday wrote down what was important to each of us, what our individual and collective goals were for the class and also ways in which we could achieve them. I feel although it might have seemed like a tedious and common sense process at the time, reflecting on this task and linking it the reading, I this was just another building block in achieving a successful team.

Overall, I’m really excited to start working with my team and to build my knowledge and experiences in working in a team. Although in the past not all my team experiences have been memorable, I feel like this paper might change my opinion of the important and significance of team work.

Reference:
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matterMcKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27

2 Comments

  1. You are quite right, haha, it seems the formation of the team brings us to the "real phase" of the course since most of us had no idea about the the goal of this paper in the last two weeks. It is great to see how you link your team experience to the reading and you have brought the key characteristics of the team and apply them to your real team life. Common goal is so important for a team and complementary skill is the key that brings the team to success.

    However, I think it will be great if you can bring some of your past team experiences. Reflection of the past team experience and combine your new understanding of the idea of team to your past experience can always make you do things differently in the team.

    It is a good journal and good luck with this paper!!

  2. I totally agree, the definition brought about within the reading "Why Teams Matter" really draws the line between groups and teams. And off course, having a common goal is very crucial when working in teams, especially within our current teams. I really like how you applied the reading and your team experiences to your journal entry.

    However, there seems to be some minor mechanical errors on paragraph five. For example, "linking it to the readings, I think this was just...". And remember to cite whenever you quote or paraphrase from another's work for example "...commitment to the common...." (Katzenbach & Smith, 1992, pg. #). Furthermore, I also agree with Zhao Thomas, since you have mentioned that not all of your past team experiences have been memorable, give examples of those experiences and then compare and contrast with your current experiences. This will allow you to see why those past team experiences were not memorable. Were they really teams as defined within the "Why teams matter" reading?.

    Besides that, I have enjoyed reading your journal entry and hope for the best within this course. cheers (smile).