Team Management

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Ralph Lewis Associates

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Teamworking

www.ralphlewis@co.uk

Ralph Lewis Associates

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Contents

Agenda,Objectives and Programme Why Teams ? Spirited Teams - the DEC Experience Key Processes for Fostering Team Spirit Belbin Team Roles Team Roles - Individual Implications Our Team Mapping Teams - The Four Quadrants Team Issues Mapping - Team Mission Clients and Service Organisational Interaction Tasks and Procedures Team Members Overall Conclusions Team Preferences Questionaire Improving Team Relationships Individual Team Contract Team Contract

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Ralph Lewis Associates

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Why Teams?
Teams and groups have always been a part of working life. For example, prehistoric peoples hunted game in teams. Of course, some of us prefer to be loners and so we work by ourselves. Whilst others find working in a team is the most enjoyable part of their job. Whatever our individual needs, organisations often compel us to act in some kind of team sooner or later. So we need to be aware of how and why teams develop, how they can be managed and what makes a team effective or ineffective. There are also both advantages and disadvantages to teamwork that we need to understand. Some of the positive reasons for having teams are: sharing of information and ideas meeting psychological needs of people for being with others specialisation is possible improved learning and decision-making synergy (1 + 1 = 3) individual biases can be overcome

Some potential disadvantages are: stifling of individuality cost in time and effort of building a team decisions may be made on basis of keeping team members happy rather than being critically examined the dangers of group pressure Every team needs to take time out to critically examine its ways of working.

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Spirited Teams – the DEC Experience
David Buchanan looked at what Digital Equipment Corporation did in their manufacturing plant at Ayr to develop spirited teams. He found the following characteristics: teams had clear long-term and immediate purposes members had high levels of energy, motivation and commitment to high standards of performance tasks were achieved through integrated teamwork leadership was reliable and predictable effort was devoted to managing the team's image and its relationships with people outside the team new ideas to improve task performance were quickly adopted fewer resources were needed than for less high-performance teams teams were self-managing, self-organising and self-regulating However, high performance teams are often regarded as a `problem' by other teams and people outside the team because the often `freewheeling' attitude of the team members is resented. To allow high-performance teams to develop Buchanan notes that management had to initiate a package of changes that were far reaching. These involved: sharing a clear vision with all employees that emphasised flexibility and quality developing new skills-based payment systems and removing job demarcations (so they had multiskilled individuals) changing management styles to support rather than control introducing computer-aided systems to give the team help in getting materials and controlling their production involving employees in the changes so that they felt they ‘owned’ the ideas, including the team selecting other people in assessing training needs and carrying out intensive training According to managers at Ayr, this package created massive personal growth and skills development. The only problem seems to have been that increased worker control had increased employee commitment to work which in some examples had had negative effects on home and social life.

David Buchanan, `High Performance: New boundaries of Acceptability in Worker Control’ in Human Resources Strategies, editor Graeme Salaman, Sage Publications, 1992.

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Team Roles
Meredith Belbin has studied teams in...
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