THE DISCIPLINE OF TEAMS-By Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith
The word “team” is often misused. Managers are quick to label a group of people a “team” because they think it is positive and motivating. They do not understand the functional differences between teams and working groups. Working groups tout individual accountability and have strong, focused leaders who delegate tasks to their members. Teams have individual and mutual accountability, work is conducted collaboratively, and leadership is shared. To transform working groups into a high-performing teams, leaders must develop “essential discipline” that is comprised of the following five characteristics:
1. A meaningful common purpose that gives shape to the team. Team members need to share a common commitment to something they can believe in to become a powerful unit of collective performance.
2. Specific performance goals. The best teams take a common purpose and break it down into measurable performance goals. The specificity of performance objectives facilitates clear communication and helps members maintain their focus on results.
3. The right mix of complementary skills. Every team should have members with either technical or functional expertise and problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal skills.
4. A strong commitment to how work gets done. Team members must agree on which job is assigned to which person, how schedules will be established and honored, and how decisions will be made.
5. Mutual accountability. Members must be accountable to one another, not just to the leader.