University of Phoenix
June 25, 2007
Organizations today strive to be the best in the industry. In order to continuously stay ahead of the competition, organizations use creative and innovative ideas from the employees. People are an organization’s most valuable asset. Without people, an organization would cease to exist. Management identifies a need of the organization and utilizes the employee to meet the need. Gathering information from a group or team within the organization, allows the employee to have input on which steps achieve the goal. What is a group? “A group is a collection of two or more people who work with one another regularly to achieve common goals” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). A team is similar to the definition of a group. “A team is a small group of people with complementary skills who work actively together to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves collectively accountable” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). How can a group become a high performance team? High performance teams are developed through planning, communication, and diversity. Planning
Planning is the key to the success of any project, or organization. The group should elect a team leader to help guide the group through issues. The group should identify the needs of the organization. The group will decided which task to tackle first. A plan must be developed to identify the expected outcome. Once the outcome has been established, the group will begin to break down the task into small steps. Brainstorming is a method which allows all members to provide input on the issues. Each member is given an opportunity to voice an opinion of how they feel the plan should be worked. This method of breaking down task may involve the five stages of development. After the tasks have been broken down into smaller assignments, the leader can delegate the assignment to each perspective member of the group. Alternative decisions should be developed before executing the main decision. The ultimate purpose of the group will be to achieve the jointly developed goal of the group. Group consensus is important in the planning stage. Planning will enable a better cohesiveness from the group. The group will be unable to move forward if there is no road map. Communication
All organizations use common and different techniques to communicate information. Whatever techniques are used, all decisions have an impact on others. Group members should communicate and share information directly with one another. Communication delivered within the group should be clear, and concise. All members of the group should receive communication in the same time in order for communication to be effective. Receiving communication at the same time alleviates any conflict due to miscommunication of information. If member have delegated assignments, reports should be given on the progress on each task in the scheduled meeting. Milestones reached should be explored in each meeting. The manager should be kept in the loop on the project status. Expectations and high performance standards should be communicated in the first meeting. Positive feedback from group members is expected to identify any adjustment needed to the original plan. Group member must realize everyone is accountable for the expected outcome. “Effective communication begins with a willingness to listen and think critically about what another person has said” (University of Phoenix, 2007). Diversity
Without people, an organization would have no asset (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). The workforce of an organization is filled with various cultures. In a group, it is important to understand the different cultures, and identify processes that would work well in achieving the group goal. The members should focus on what value to I bring to the group. “Success in the workplace requires a set of skill for working successfully with a broad mix of people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds” (University of Phoenix, 2007). A multi-cultural group creates a competitive edge. Diversity expands the skill sets, and the effectiveness of the group. The challenge of group effectiveness in a culturally mixed group is to utilize the resources without suffering performance limitations. Respecting others and their differences reveal the true value of diversity. Cross-functional members bring different ideas, beliefs, and values to the group. Having cross-functional groups, gives total coverage of all functional areas to be impacted by decisions. A cross-functional group produces social relationships needed for teamwork. Creativity, viewpoints, and ideas are enhanced through different lifestyles, cultures, values and beliefs of each member. Instead of allowing diversity to create barriers; allow diversity to develop opportunities for success. Conclusion
An effective group is continuously gaining knowledge about the organizational goals. Change is evitable, and organizations must be able to adapt to change. Being able to adapt to change keeps organizations in the competitive arena. A plan must first be developed once a problem has been identified. A plan is not deemed successful until it has been implemented. The plan is the blueprint of where the group needs to proceed. Effective communication allows the group to present their thoughts and ideas while reducing conflict. Effective communication will ensure that everyone is on the same page. Diversity ensures all areas of functionality are obtainable. Furthermore, diversity provides access to different cultures. Understand the different cultures and what works best in each situation. Groups can become high performance teams by setting high standards, clear rules for team behavior, ensuring members have the right skill sets, and positive feedback. As groups work together through the various stages of group development, they mature into high performance teams. Let the group know that everyone is accountable for the outcome.
Schermerhorn, J.R, Hunt, J.G., & Osborn, R.N. (9th ed.) (2005) Organizational behavior. (University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text) Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved May 29, 2007, from University of Phoenix, Resource, MGT 331- Interdisciplinary Capstone Course Web site. University of Phoenix, Week Two, resource, MGT 331- Interdisciplinary Capstone Course Web site.