In the broadest sense, the organization creating teams is the organization empowering itself in a number of highly beneficial ways. It is utilizing a crucial asset, in that a bringing together of individuals, selected for their various and complementary abilities, creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts. When such a team is well-managed, the organization has the advantage of a vital, active element. This is the “hot” team, and it is marked by a significant characteristic; members are deeply engaged in the work and interactions, and typically enjoy the efforts more (Osland et al, 2006, p. 247). As this occurs, benefits accrue in the form of greater success in achieving goals, and the organization is then further enabled to expand on its goals. The hot or productive team is then an instrument through which an organization may follow through on its initiatives, which ambition is not otherwise marked by a high success rate in general (Osland et al, 2006, p. 248). In plain terms, the creation of teams, done with necessary forethought and with the correct supervision and leadership in place, completely serves the interests of the organization in the specific way of achievement, and in promoting both productivity and the organizational culture in general. The team is an entity by no means always effective, and one requiring correct development and guidance. Nonetheless, the efforts made to create the highly functional teams are more than outweighed by how it will enhance the organization’s being.
The latter elements mentioned are clearly enhanced by the effective team, and because of the inherent quality of good teamwork. Members come together and interact to focus on an individual problem or ambition and, as is evident elsewhere, an exponential effect is achieved in which the team, encouraged by its own superior performance, positively influences the organizational culture and environment. This in turn promotes the continuing and successful team performance enhancing productivity.
All within the organization contribute to this effect as well; when productivity is strong and management tangibly appreciates the team’s work, the entire culture, or state of being of the organization, attains a more positive atmosphere (Colomo-Palacios, 2012, p. 71). All those within the setting then enjoy greater contentment and consequently are more motivated to invest themselves in the organization’s being. It cannot be overstated, in fact, that productivity and culture are mutually inclusive aspects of any organization, and the team working well invariably contributes to both.
As has already been strongly indicated, the composition of the team is critical in terms of its ability to so contribute. Management must exercise great care in “matching” members, and avoid gathering together those individuals too similar in thinking and/or temperament. A good team is intrinsically a dynamic unto itself, and the dynamic processes rely upon interactions incorporating varied points of view and varied abilities.
The composition as furthering efficacy is also reliant upon the nature of the team’s task itself; management must select those individuals with both skill in completion of the specific task, and those more generally effective in creative thinking. Moreover, management must be aware that leaders will emerge within the team, and engage those most likely to “coach for success” their peers (Yeatts, Hyten, 1998, p. 195). The greater the care in composition, then, the greater the team’s positive impacts.
Problems inevitably arise in organizations and, the more complex the organization, the greater the potentials for issues demanding response. The team is valuable here, when management has some sense of the problem, because management may then create the team in place to address it. This effort has as well the beneficial effect of generating confidence in management from all, through the understanding that the leadership is committed to improving the environment. Not unexpectedly, of course, teams themselves are subject to issues, and some degree of conflict within the team setting is usually inevitable. There is extensive evidence that ongoing conflict creates apathy in team members, as tasks are delayed or ignored as well (Yeatts, Hyten, 1998, p. 90). This conflict, however, may be a positive force. When team members engage in conflict and the leadership ensures that the conflict does not reach undue proportions, a synergy is generated; each team member’s ambition to be heard/understood fuels the same in their peers, and motivates more focused thinking and performance.
Lastly, two problem-solving methods demand some examination. These are the red-mode mind-set and the green-mode approach; the former emphasizes logic, caution, and critical analysis, while the latter is defined by an expansive, empathetic, and more creative effort (Osland et al, 2006, p. 289). Clearly, both methods share the goal of correcting the problem, but the contrast is equally evident. One is based on practical considerations, while the other goes to the encouragement of innovative thinking. Also, both have drawbacks by virtue of the individual focuses as denying the benefits of the other’s. There are potential issues within the red-mode, for example, as it is often marred by members’ fears of appearing foolish in expressing ideas, a tendency to judge ideas rather than initiate them, and an unwillingness to entertain ideas offering only abstract solutions (Green, 2009, p. 160). The red-mode mind-set, by contrast, suffers from a sheer lack of creativity, which is frequently essential in devising solutions to problems not addressed by pragmatic efforts. Ideally, then, the two models should be applied simultaneously, in order to create a more effective approach drawing upon the specific advantages of each.
- Colomo-Palacios, R. (2012). Enhancing the Modern Organization through Information Technology Professionals: Research, Studies, and Techniques. Hershey: IGI Global.
- Green, A. (2009). Creativity in Public Relations, 4th Ed. Philadelphia: Kogan Page.
- Osland, J. S., Kolb, D. A., Rubin, I. M., & Turner, M. E. (2006). Organizational Behavior: An Experiential Approach, 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.
- Yeatts, D. E., & Hyten, C. (1998). High-Performing Self-Managed Work Teams: A Comparison of Theory to Practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.