Teaming and Leading

Topics: Decision making, Team, The A-Team Pages: 6 (1485 words) Published: July 25, 2008

A team is a cohesive unit of people who enjoy the privileges of making decisions and continuously work to improve the organization. The team helps to align the organization around the functions and has the ability to work toward a common vision. As rightly quoted by Katzenbach and Smith,1993,”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."

Team Composition

Most big firms are actually promoting heterogeneity in their workplace teams. Like Goldman Sachs says in this advertisement

The good news is great minds don't think alike. ... we believe the best ideas come from a room full of differing opinions. With our substantial global resources, we're able to bring different minds and disciplines to the table. The result is out of the box thinking instead of conventional solutions [The Economist February 2000].

Forming heterogeneous work units in organizations seems to make some sense. In a heterogeneous work group members have significantly different backgrounds and experiences. Examples of differences might be demographic characteristics, such as age or sex; social background, including class and ethnic origin; or professional development, such as education and organizational tenure. Hoffman and Maier (1961) note that heterogeneity of backgrounds and experiences allow a group to draw on very different sources of information and enables it to identify superior alternatives in the decision process.

However one might face problems in building such teams. If the company handles the problems carelessly, team effectiveness will drop dramatically. The first problem concerns language barriers. The second problem associated with heterogeneous teams is culture shock. In the multi-culture work environment, co-workers often misunderstand each other’s behaviour. The third problem with heterogeneous teams concerns members taking turns as coordinators. In heterogeneous teams, members tend to regulate behaviours according to their own preference, which may vary across different culture. As a result, confusion and conflict can arise .So an experienced team leader is necessary for effective heterogeneous teams.

Team Roles

Whether the players of a sports team or the employees of a well-run organisation, team members fill in specific defined roles. The following are the five key roles that team members play :


A team leader moves the team toward the goal of accomplishing the task. A team leader should ensure that the environment is conducive for the team to get the job done. A Good team leader knows that anything learnt from experience has a stronger impact than anyone ordering to get a task done. A leader needs to maintain a balance between :

2.Team Facilitator- Keeping everyone on track.

A Facilitator is the one who a) make things happen with ease b) helps the team through the process and c) Helps the team take important decisions.

3.Team Recorder

The recorder is responsible for documenting the team's process, discussions, and decisions. Every good team has a good recorder!

4.Time Keeper A time keeper’s job is to monitor how long the team takes to reach it goal or accomplish a particular task, Giving feedbacks to the team on how effectively they should manage time, and also determine new time schedules for the team with the help of the leader and the facilitator.

5.Team Member- Everyone Else!
A team member has no definite role but his participation decides the fate of the team. Team members must commit to the success of the group and promise to participate. A team can comprise of an Expert ,Summariser , Bridge Builder . Profile of a leader

“A process that includes influencing the task objectives and strategies of a group or...
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