[acb-hsp] Why Teams Fail
djrogers0628 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 22:42:10 EST 2012
Awesome, Jessie; I can identify with all the things that make a team work
and those that don't; a good team can be an awesome group where wonderful
things can happen.
From: acb-hsp-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-hsp-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:17 PM
To: Discussion list for ACB human service professionals
Subject: [acb-hsp] Why Teams Fail
WHY TEAMS FAIL
Jessie L. Rayl
E7033, Argosy University
Why Teams Fail
I have been in attendance as a participant of a variety of team
meetings, both as a part of professional team meetings in various settings
(e.g. mental health and/or advocacy) and in nonprofit organizations.
These teams typically are for the purpose of change: someone,
generally management (in the professional organization) and the officers (in
nonprofit organization) determines that change needs to occur. Teams or
committees are then formed, generally consisting of three to eight people.
The team generally has a leader.
Sometimes, the leader is appointed by the management / President
of the organization, sometimes the team leader is elected by the team. And
then the process begins of teamwork. Generally, however, they fail for the
same or similar reasons.
An effective team has a leader who is able to communicate with
the team. The team is able to identify the purpose or intent for the team,
then develop specific goals and objectives for the team (Hall and Hord,
There are many different strategies that a leader might employ for the
development of the goals and objectives and the strategies the leader
utilizes will be dependent on the leader's particular style, however without
specific goals and objectives, the team cannot proceed smoothly through the
process of teamwork.
Senge describes five disciplines which are essential in successful team
work. They include:
Team Learning: This is the ability for a group of people to withhold their
assumptions and have open dialogue. This means being receptive to each
other's ideas as well, going beyond their own personal defensiveness and
being willing and able to present their ideas openly.
Building a shared vision: The group must truly share the vision for the
future. If they do, they will be excited about what they are creating
together. Their shared excitement will motivate them to create together.
Mental Models: The team members should be able to identify previously
hidden "mental models" or assumptions bring them out in the open and work
with them. These may include negative assumptions or beliefs about the
organization or reasons for why things have not worked, or fears of the
impending change. They should be able to go beyond their beliefs.
Personal Mastery: On an individual basis, each member of the team must work
on developing his or her own vision, abilities and focus. "They should
possess an inner drive to give every project their best" (Senge; E7033
Systems Thinking: The ability and practice of consistently examining the
entire system, rather than just trying to resolve isolated problems. Team
members look at the whole picture: how will this impact everyone involved?
how will this affect things down the road? Versus how does it affect me? How
does it affect me now?
When no goals and/or objectives have been set, teams fail. When there is
little or no, or poor, communication, team fail. When there is group
polarization or negative groupthink, teams fail. When leadership is
incompetent, powerless or power-driven, teams fail. When there is no
vision, teams fail.
Argosy University, E7033 Online Lecture, Senge, P. M. "The Fifth
Discipline", www.mycampus.argosy.edu <http://www.mycampus.argosy.edu/>
Hall, G. E., Hord, S. M., (2011), "Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles
and Potholes", 3rd Edition, Pearson Publication, EBook
thedogmom63 at frontier.com
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