No one doubts that high performance teams are meant to be the engines that drive success in today’s business environment.
Though much has been written on team theory and there is no scarcity of experiential team training programs developed to create “team bonding,” the pathway to team effectiveness has remained elusive. Variables such as group pressure, social and self-image, group think, management of diversity, motivation, inclusiveness and empowerment have all been called critical factors for the success or failure of a team.
However to truly transform a group of highly competent individuals into an ongoing high performance team cannot be accomplished either by teaching team theory or by trying to engineer emotions based camaraderie. The weakness of most team building interventions is that they do not cut deeply enough to the core of what keeps intelligent people from effective cooperation.
As a consequence, corporate teams are widely viewed as necessary evils that support mediocrity. Evidence cited usually includes meetings that waste time, cumbersome decision-making, absence of leadership and serious breakdowns in trust and communication. The corporate cost of these weaknesses, if not addressed, can be enormous.