There is a proverb says many hands makes light work. A group of individuals operating without the basis of a purpose can be effectively assembled, deployed refocused and disbanded (Katzenbatch & Smith, 1992). This is often identified as a group, not a team. This week’s learning journal will attempt to demonstrate fundamental elements for a team.
A precise definition of team from Katzenbatch & Smith (1992) is a group of people operating with absolute necessities, which are often defined as key attributes such as: meaningful purpose, specific performance goals, common approach, complementary skills, and mutual accountability.
Complementary skills that is necessary for a team to achieve their purpose fall into three categories (Katzenbatch & Smith 1992): technical or functional expertise, problem solving and decision making, interpersonal skills. Technical or functional expertise category basically requires individual with specific expertise or a clear role for every members in a team. For instance, we have been allocated to a team for Mike’s bikes programme with a distributed role of different field of expertise. Problem solving and decision making skills category requires the ability to identify problems and opportunities, then evaluate effective options or decisions to precede. Contribution of individuals is the core aspects in a team, as there is strength in numbers. Individual’s opinions and concerns raises problem solving strategies and various decision, then to compare and contrast for the most effective option to reach a team’s common purpose. Interpersonal skills category requires an effective communication between team members, a mutual understanding is essential for the establishment of a common goal or purpose. Interpersonal skills are sufficient to recognize objectivity, support and helpful criticism of others. For instance, in the studies of Oakley, Felder, Brent & Elhajj (2004) raises concerns of dealing with problem team members, problems such as members who refused to do their share of the work but try to get the same grades as their more responsible team members (i.e. hitchhikers), this is when interpersonal skills becomes handy and is required to make critical judgment and decisions for such situation.
In summary, teams are different and multiplied in strength as they involve in constant group discussion, debate and decision from various perspectives. These aspects of team provide a cooperative learning that is beneficial to develop attributes associated with high-performance teams. The three categories of complementary skills in a team is the back spinal cord for a high performativity team.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.