Dys/functional Teams

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.

Michael Jordan
source: freepik.com

Cooperation is an important building block of any team. A good basis is a shared vision and shared values (see company culture deck). Also, think about leadership styles such as shared leadership, servant leadership, democratic and/or authoritarian leadership, etc.

The question is: what makes a team a dream team, what makes a team rise above itself, what makes the whole more than the sum of its parts – a mix of decisive and serving players?

Develop and Reward a Team of Top Performers

live by example

  • Team goals bring out the best in people.
  • Benefit from diversity in team members .
  • Strengthen the team bond.
  • Make clear agreements.
  • Which rule capacity or degree of autonomy autonomy suits the team?
  • Confrontation is fine, personal conflicts are not.

When building a good team, pay attention to these points:

  1. The first point is about setting concrete goals and the conviction that you can get the best out of your team members if they agree with the team goals and are committed, as well as valued for their qualities.
  2. The second point is about you building a team with different personalities, complementary qualities and diversity in background, age etc.

Invest in team building.

Be clear about what you expect from each other and make clear agreements. Give people space, control capacity and appropriate autonomy. What fits the team, the situation, the task maturity of the team? Which working method suits your company and your goals, and does the value proposition of the company fit? In terms of management/guidance you can think of theory and insights from Hersey & Blanchard (Situational Leadership). Remember that there are people who are beginners and people who are more advanced in their work. As a manager, you need to adapt to how they want to be helped to perform at their best. Your style of leadership should be attuned to that. The strength of the relationship (connection) is important here.

Don't avoid confrontations: Be hard on business, but soft on people.

Think of current insights such as Agile working.

Dysfunctional Teams

  • Don’t commit to appointments.
  • Say one thing, but do the opposite.
  • Avoid responsibilities (if it is unclear who should do what, roles/tasks ..)
  • Focus too much attention on making profit.
  • Have fear of failure.
source: unsplash.com

Patrick Lencioni has studied the topic of team development and identified five factors that distinguish high-performance teams from “normal” teams.

What makes a team effective? And what interferes with good cooperation?

Knowledge about the five team dysfunctions help you to identify resistance and obstacles so you can work on eliminating them.

Real team players sacrifice their own position for the end result of the team. That starts with the leader who also dares to take the risk of failure. As a manager, show the desired behavior, live by example.

source: valid.com (click to get to the article 'Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: How Valid Creates a Results-Oriented Organizational Culture')

If you want to know more about Patrick Lencioni's model of dysfunctional teams, we recommend the following reads:

  • The book: Patrick Lencioni (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
  • An article on Lencioni's 5 Dysfunctions of a team.
  • A 7 minute video on the core message of the 5 dysfunctions.