It has been observed that the culture of an organization that is built around teams is strikingly different from an organization built in a traditional hierarchical fashion.
Some of the differences lie in commitment to goals, representation / awareness of strategic plans consistent presence of job performance indicators, employees dividing tasks and taking ownership of work and setting / meeting of new levels of performance are common to organizations built around teams (Dew 3). However it is also important to know when it is important to form teams as teams are known to work well where the tasks involved are complex and can be fragmented.
The task of selecting when to form teams is a management role and the communication and leadership of the team must be directed from the administration (Dew 5). In this report the discussion presented will provide information on a team activity and reasons based on principles of team management in support of the activity as well as areas that could have been improved.
The Team Activity
The activity involved was the organization of a cultural night show by a group of students from my home country. Once the date was set the group sat down and had a meeting to select a leader. In the selection of a leader the group felt it was important to select an individual with strong leadership qualities.
Among the qualities desired included; an ability to withhold personal opinions to allow other members have a say, good listening ability, ability to direct a discussion without favoritism, draw out opinions of all participants and ability to build consensus rather forcing decisions on members (Kriel, Singh, de Beer, Louw, Muton, Roussouw, Berning and du Toit 42). Following this initial discussion a vote was conducted and a leader was selected.
Once the team leader was in place the discussion continued and selected the various officials that would be required to complete the task successfully. After forming a complete team of leaders the committee formed set about preparing a timetable and order of tasks to be completed. In addition to this it was also mentioned that random meetings could be called among selected individuals to brainstorm and complete the various tasks.
The event was eventually completed successfully but not without some unexpected problems. Among the problems that were identified was the case that some of the members were given more tasks than they could handle in the allocated time.
Owing to this there were numerous delays which could have been avoided had there been better communication and additional support for the officials (Kriel et al. 41). One of the strengths of teamwork is the ability to utilize on the support of other members and this is one area where the team failed to fully comprehend.
Another problem that was experienced in the team was poor conflict management. Despite the fact that the leader selected was good for the job the team consisted of several members all with different ideas and opinions. The result was that during brain storming exercises there was too much time wasted on trying to push various opinions home.
It appeared that the team lacked a unified goal and this led to wastage of time. It is reported that poor communication can prevent a team from achieving its goal and threaten its survival (Kriel et al. 38). This point was most evident in the initial planning meetings held by the group.
On the other hand one of the best outcomes of the event was the increased rapport that arose between members as the days progressed. Owing to the ability of the leader to keep the members focused as well as remind team members of the goal of the committee it was much easier to overcome hurdles caused by different opinions.
It was through the persistence of the group leader that members were constantly reminded of individual accountability and group responsibility (Kriel et al. 41). The cultural night ended up a successful event and the group managed to generate a reasonable amount of revenue from various sources.
Dew, John Robert. Managing in a Team Environment. Westport: Quorum Books, 1998.
Kriel, G., D. Singh, A. de Beer, H, Louw, J. Mouton, D. Rossouw, J. Berning and D. du Toit. Focus on Management Principles: A Generic Approach. South Africa: Paarl print.