New Team Formation

Definitions | What is a Team?

"A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable." (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)

"People working together in a committed way to achieve a common goal or mission. The work is interdependent and team members share responsibility and hold themselves accountable for attaining the results." (MIT Information Services and Technology)

"A group in which members work together intensively to achieve a common group
goal." (Lewis-McClear & Taylor 1998)

Why Teams Matter

by Jon R. Katzenbach , Douglas K. Smith
An excerpt from The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization

  • Effective teams, not abstract commitments to teamwork, are thereal drivers of top-flight organizational performance.
  • Real teams -- not just groups of people with a label attached -- will invariably outperform the same set of individuals operating in a non-team mode, particularly where multiple skills, experiences, and judgments determine performance.
  • Being more flexible than larger organizational groupings, they can be more quickly and effectively assembled, deployed, refocused, and disbanded. And being more firmly and mutually committed to tangible performance results, they can more readily leverage their combined skills to achieve objectives beyond the reach of less tightly-bound collections of individuals.
  • In fact, most models of the so-called "organization of the future"  -- "networked," "clustered," "non- hierarchical," "horizontal," and the like -- are premised onteams surpassing individuals as the primary unit of performance.
  • When managers seek faster, better ways to match resources with customer need or competitive challenge, the critical building block is -- and will increasingly be -- at the team, not the individual, level.
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