Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2003


Dragan Milosevic

Course Title

Team Building and Communication

Course Number

EMGT 522/622


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The “team" in the context of a workplace can be defined as small groups of people committed to a common purpose, who possess complimentary skills and who agree on specific performance goals for which the team holds itself mutually accountable (Katzenbach and Smith). Effective teams must have individuals with complementary skills in order to meet ever-changing needs of both internal and external customers. Further, effective teams must have specific goals to strive for those that allow mutual accountability. Finally, teams should be composed of a small number of people (preferably ~ 5 to 7) to ensure consensus without discord. [3] There are many reasons why reasonably stable teams perform better. Members develop familiarity with one another and with their collective task, so they can quickly settle in and get to work rather than waste time and energy getting oriented. They build a shared pool of knowledge that's more comprehensive than that of any individual team member. They learn who is especially knowledgeable or skilled in different aspects of the work, and how to deal with members who are less skilled without excessively disrupting the team's progress. There are three things leaders can put in place to increase the chances of team effectiveness [4]: 1. Compelling direction, 2. An enabling structure and context, and 3. Available expert coaching A good team design yields a double benefit: Teams are likely to have less need for coaching interventions because they encounter fewer problems that lie beyond their own capabilities, and the coaching they do receive acts as a added bonus because the team is not preoccupied with more basic, structurally rooted difficulties.


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