Organisations’ to use team work effectively need to have teamwork as part of their culture. An organisation’s upper management approach, an organisation’s support structures for teams, and an organisation’s supply of experienced team leaders are three things which can support or impede a culture of teamwork. Upper management being visible are cultural symbols within an organisation. How they act and the language they use have a strong influence over the wider cultural tone. If this group do not lead by example and act as a team, they will significantly weaken any teamwork culture.
Upper management also need to be aware and involved in an organisation’s structures to support teams, which are the cultural rites and artefacts of a teamwork culture. Typically examples of these are a project selection process, emphasis on planning, team activities and project reporting. These tangible structures are important for projects and teams because of the framework they provide, but more important for the culture is management’s attention to them. A lack of interest by management in these project / team rites and artefacts will weaken the attention the wider organisation gives them and the teamwork culture.
Lastly a pool of team lead people with experience of leading and working in teams is important for an organisation to reap the big benefits of teamwork. Lead people being on the ground are local cultural symbols and like upper management how they act and the language they use is important. However, unlike upper management their visibility is limited to the local level they operate at, and as such a limited supply or a pool with lesser experience will directly affect the coverage they provide across the organisation or the quality of the example they give to support the teamwork culture.
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