“The aggregation of highly talented or highly intelligent people does not necessarily make an effective team.”
Talented people can help a team perform in a high performance level to meet its specific goals. However, talented people can also instill a sense of disharmony within an already effective team. Robertson and Abbey (2003) acknowledge that having talented people in a team requires having different values and motivation from the majority of the people. This statement can be seen with various situations happening around us to events across the world through different industries and even to sports. Cases like F.C. Real Madrid’s (A highly decorated Spanish club soccer team that has won numerous trophies in Spain and European leagues) superstar buying policy, and NBA Lakers’ personality clash between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, has proven that talented people would not make an effective team. Woodruffe (2006) states that having a great deal of autonomy, where people can really get into their role in a team/organization is likely to be welcomed. However, having too many talented people in a team would only cause a team to lose its focus and not be able to achieve its goals. By having too many talented team members, they may have the impression that they are better than the other team members. Thus, this could result in an egoistic/prideful decision that they should be the person leading the team and not requiring them to be a team member. Lewis and Slack (2003) agrees, that highly talented people are understandably reluctant to apply their abilities to projects, that are undervalued and an online article by Colvin (2006) from CNNMoney listed the following as reasons that having too many talents within a team fails: •
Signing too many all stars
Failing to build a culture of trust
Tolerating competing agendas
Letting conflicts fester
Hiding from the real issues
Without going in-depth on these, it will be shown that these are issues that are opposite to that of building an effective team. The next few segments will evolve around a few of the factors that make an effective team.
Ingram et al. (1997) suggests that characteristics of an effective team are based on effectiveness and efficiency. This is further elaborated in the diagram below to differentiate the different between efficiency and effectiveness
Effectiveness is about the performance, goals and criteria of the team, basically, the ending result of the team goal. Efficiency looks at the process of achieving it and looks to factors such as teamwork, group dynamics and resources. Johnson and Scholes (1989) observe that efficiency is a measure of how resources are used while effectiveness is how it complements efficiency with its external environment/factors. As mentioned by Cole (2005), these would in turn, lead towards achieving synergy, where it is the ability to achieve more than what its individual members could achieve individually.
Looking more in-depth into the factors of efficiently achieving an effective team would be factors like teamwork, team culture, dynamics, cohesion and leadership. Teamwork is defined as a group of people working together to accomplish a common goal(s) of the team. Schermerhorn (1996) acknowledges the benefits of teamwork within a team and how it can affect customers/organization of the hospitality industry. This involves corporation between members and their understanding of being team players. Even with talented people in a team, all the members should take up a team player role voluntarily at anytime. An industry example of being a team player would be helping out a busy team member to serve customers. Even if it was just the clearing of tables or refilling water glasses, it increases the overall efficiency of the team to serve customers. As time goes on with this practice, communication and team morale increases. Eventually trust builds up as you know your team member on a better level and all through...
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