For the long-term viability of any enterprise you needed a viable corporate culture. It, too, has to be long-term. So, cultivate good people and keep them. Work with honest and competent business managers and give them a long-term commitment and support. From these modest principles, an empire can rise.
One of the biggest challenges when starting up a project is to create a team. What usually happens is that a certain amount of resources (or I would prefer calling them what they really are; persons) are given to the project. Then it is the project managers task to create a team out of the group of individuals given. This is a tremendous, complex and very time consuming effort that simply just has to be done. All this effort is not even giving you any guarantee what-so-ever of succeeding. Failure in the beginning of a project can be devastating for the whole product and/or project. Hence, why do we keep struggling with this problem every single time we start up a project? My ideas is to keep the team(s) intact and then assign a product and/or project to the team! This way we get rid of all the tremendous, complex and very time consuming effort(s) that has to be done in order to create a high-performing team!
What is the difference between a group and a team? Is there really a difference? I argue that there is a definite and fundamental difference between a group and a team. To be able to understand this further one must start by defining the terms “group” and “team”.
A group can be defined as;
“a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a leader’s goal and approach and are willing to be held accountable by the leader.”
Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith on The Wisdom of Teams (Harvard Business School Press, 1992)
Whilst a team can be defined as;
“a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a common goal and approach for which they hold each other accountable.” Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith on The Wisdom of Teams (Harvard Business School Press, 1992)
Hence, a group is very individual-based (rather than team-based) where the group’s responsibility and accountability lie within every individual within the group (i.e. every individual is responsible and accountable for his/her own work). The group is dominantly held together by a leader, where the group supports the leader’s goals. The decisions made in a group are made by voting and/or implied agreement(s) whereas decisions on a team are typically made by consensus. Continue reading →