The Importance of Teamwork to Business Change - dummies

The Importance of Teamwork to Business Change

By Christina Tangora Schlachter, Terry H. Hildebrandt, MA, MA, PCC

You’ve heard that two is better than one; a cord of three can’t be broken; there’s no “I” in “team.” A team working together well is a beautiful thing. Here are a few of the best aspects of teamwork:

  • Teams accomplish more than individuals. Someone reading this is rolling their eyes right now and saying, “I can do so much more when I don’t have to work with others.” But although an individual may be able to get a lot of work done, it is quite unrealistic to expect a single person to know enough and have enough time to get everything done.

    Teams can help get work done more quickly and meet cross-functional challenges.

    Some research suggests that introverts, who are able to give a lot when working individually, do not contribute as much when forced to work in team environments all the time. Make sure introverts are provided an opportunity to contribute in other ways. An organization must recognize personality differences to be successful.

  • Teamwork helps to retain the best people. Effective teams do more than just get the work done. Think about a time in your career when you were incredibly energized to come to work in the morning and felt you were really delivering results. You were probably surrounded by some high-performing people you could rely on to help get the job done.

    Teams, when working well, have the ability to engage some of your brightest stars.

  • Teams contribute to the whole organization’s success. A team can only be fully understood in terms of its relation to the other parts of the organization. The interrelatedness of teams is important because it contributes to the overall functioning of the organization.

    Think of the change team like a baseball team: You may have a great pitcher and catcher on the field, but if the first baseman doesn’t know what’s going on, the team will not be wining any World Series titles anytime soon.

    During business change, you may have a great leader in one part of the organization, but if he or she has no technical or functional support, the change may not be successful. Teamwork across teams sets up the whole organization to win.

Remember that an organization is just a bigger team often made up of smaller teams. So the meaningful change can be driven from the organizational level or project, process, or department level. A team is a team, no matter how big or small.