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Elements Of Effective Teams

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Autor:  anton  29 October 2010
Tags:  Elements,  Effective
Words: 2516   |   Pages: 11
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Elements of Effective Teams

There are some positive benefits to teams but only if the teams are built with the correct qualifications: such as a person who will step up to the leadership position and help motivate the rest of the team members. In order to build a good team there needs to be other elements besides leadership in order to carry out their plans: such as tools and technology, diversity, and the proper personalities to keep the team intact. Everyone’s personality is different, and that in turn leads to the roles they play within the team. The diversity of the different personalities and the diversity of the departments they work in can lead to good and bad connotations. As a team everyone should have shared leadership.

The tools are needed to help the team create, develop, and execute the plans they come up with. In order to create plans of action, the team needs a harmonious work environment and it should be in a place that no one has connections to, and that everyone feels comfortable in. They should be well stocked with all the office supplies all of them will need. Even though we think of office supplies as pens and pads of paper, office supplies does not mean that in every company. If they are working in a car company, one of the office supplies they will need is large amounts of clay in order to come up with new models for the upcoming year. If they are working for Blue Bell, they might need flavorings and candy. All of the supplies should be readily available because when they get on a roll, the last thing they want to do is stop and go searching for something they need. Computers are a very important part of a team. They can connect all of the team members who may not all be in the same offices. An example of this would be video

Team A 2 conferencing. An international company might create a team of individuals who live and work all over the world, so in order to get them all together they would have to video conference. Another helpful function of the computer is the internet. The internet supplies us with endless amounts of data, and is a useful tool to help with research on any subject. Another tool that is quite important and ties into computer and the internet is software. One of the new plans the team might come up with to execute to the whole company is a new software program. Or it might be that the team uses the software, like Microsoft PowerPoint, to do presentations to the company.

Team members bring a diverse background as well, for instance, experience. The experience a team member has can be a valuable tool. It could be as simple as that you had tried to implement the same type of plan at another jobs and it, was unsuccessful. This could be valuable to the company in that it could save them thousands upon millions of dollars. Having the expertise in a particular area can also be a valuable tool to the team which enables them to develop plans at greater speeds, instead of having to do the research. Personalities are another part of a team.

Personalities have a dramatic impact on team dynamics. This is true in working teams or even sports teams. In both situations there will be leaders, and there will be followers. The leaders will always step up in any situation because that is their nature, and it is difficult to keep someone with this characteristic down. There are so many different personalities that are involved within a team that finding a role that fits their personality usually is the best way to go.

A leader is someone who will take charge of a team and give everyone around them a feeling of certainty. There will be an aura around this type of individual that will motivate people to work harder and have more confidence to accomplish the goal that they set when the team was formed. These people are winners, and they take their team to the next level.

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A person who I think is a fine example of this kind of characteristic is Joe Montana. This guy was one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of professional football. Not just because of his athletic abilities, but the confidence he brought to his teammates and to the millions of fans all over the United States.

Everyone knew including his teammates, the opposing team, and his fans that even if they were losing and there was only one second left on the clock, that Joe Montana could bring his teammates together for one last play and they could would win. It did not always work out that way, but his presence brought this kind of positive feeling. However, he did accomplish along with his teammates to win four championships in the 1980s. This type of personality is not very common in professional sports. I happened to live in the San Francisco Bay Area during his playing days and I was very fortunate to watch every game he ever played in, including some of his college days at Notre Dame. I am a forty inners fan, and the feeling of confidence I had when Joe Montana was playing is gone. There has never been anybody to replace it since and maybe there will never be.

As beneficial as a person like Joe Montana can be to a team, there can be another personality that is opposite of this, which is more of a detriment to the team. A person like this can be a cancer and if they are not stopped it will affect everyone in the team negatively. This type of individual must be spoken to by the remaining members of the group. If they do not change and be more productive to the group then they should be expelled before anymore damage can be done. As an example, I would like to use a personal story that happened to me a couple of years ago when I was a member of a prototype team in San Jose, California. The company, which shall remain nameless, was in the manufacturing of high tech vacuum equipment for the semi-conductor industry. This company at the time was a multi-million dollar business which was shipping approximately five million dollars a month. I had the least seniority

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even though I was the lead-person in the vacuum welding department. The team consisted of a mechanical engineer, a machinist, a finisher, a laser operator, a brake operator, a production manager, and me. We would meet once a week to go over the blue prints of jobs that had already been quoted. The goal of this team was to come up with a game plan for the most efficient way to get the jobs completed by the deadline. Everyone in this group had different characteristic, but we all got along with each other with the exception of the production manager. I have no clue as to why this individual had this position but he was already in place when I started working there. He had the worst personality that I had ever been associated with and I had been in manufacturing for over twelve years prior to this. I knew my field very well and so did the other team members. As far as who had the most education that was the engineer, but what is hilarious or should I say disastrous, the person with the least amount of formal or technical education was the person in charge, the production manager. It seemed liked he did not want to be part of the team, but just wanted to do things his way and he would rather argue instead of listening to a fellow team members point of view. We would give him the best game plan that was possible at our facility, and he would just manipulate the jobs every single time. He would cut corners to get the jobs out the door faster in order to make himself look good, but the parts would be rejected a large portion of the time. This would just infuriate our team and destroyed many of the member’s credibility amongst upper management. This one person was the cancer that I described earlier, but unfortunately he was not removed in time during a slow economy, and it ended up with the company filing chapter 11 and then being bought out by another company. What is ironic about the situation is the new company kept him and the rest of the team was terminated.

There are many personalities that are involved in teams, but the bottom lines is that everyone needs to stay focused on the goal and not to differentiate from it This will only effect the dynamics of the team in a negative way, and sometimes can be disastrous for the corporation.

Team A 5 Of course there will be arguments, even loving family argue, but it is very important to keep the respect of each team member intact or it will just cause a riff inside of the team that will eventually lead to failure.

Another key element in creating an effective team dynamic is implementing diversity. First we must begin by asking, “What does the work diversity mean?” In essence it refers to the way those individuals in a group differ.

In recent years the U.S. workforce has become increasingly diverse, adding more and more workers who are not the traditional white males. At the same time, organizations are being confronted with problems that cannot be effectively dealt with by staying within the conventional hierarchical and functional boundaries, and thus we see a growing use of work groups, or teams, that span these boundaries. (Ghiselin)

These elements can include race, gender, cultural background, age, tenure, level of position, personality, learning style, and self perception just to mention a few. The truth is that the list is endless, and like individual people, each group has a unique fingerprint of its own. In fact, most individuals within a team have multiple identities. With all these variables come benefits as well as obstacles to the team.

The primary benefit of working in a diverse team is that the depth of perception and possibility of contribution is dramatically increased as opposed to working in a homogenous team. By pursuing diversity in forming a work team you increase the rate of creating quality multileveled ideas that are creative in nature.

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The primary drawback in working in a diverse team is that it is common that the goal will be reached at a slower pace. With all of the variables in a diverse team the ideas and suggestions are often dissimilar, so filtering out the less effective ones and bringing together the more effective ones, will encompass a longer time span. This is the price the group must pay for creating the most positive synergy possible.

Next, I will generally explore the topics of diversity that include age, gender, race, and culture. First, age diversity brings to the table fearlessness from the young and wisdom from the more seasoned members. For example, if a team was formed to develop a new marketing plan for a long standing successful company, the younger members would inherently suggest ideas to capture the interest of their generation. These suggestions would be used to target new customers. While the older team member, who most likely has a better understanding of the image the company wants to project, may suggest a more conservative approach that is targeting towards existing customers, shareholders, and a more professional demographic. By merging the two schools of thought, the result can be an edgy, eye catching advertising, contributed from the fresh employees, while maintaining the stable, steadfast ideals of the company contributed by the tenured members.

Secondly, gender diversity plays a very important role. For example, if a team was formed to evaluate or negotiate company benefits the list derived from men and women would be different. At the top of the list for some women, in this world of so many single mothers, may be on sight child care or work hour flexibility. On the other hand, at the top of the men’s list may be life insurance or stock options. A team formed with only one of the two genders represented would have overlooked or deemed unimportant crucial points to be addressed.

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Thirdly, race and culture brings awareness to multi-national aspects of a workplace. For example, I import a large volume of commodity from companies in Mexico and must be educated in regards to customs and holidays of that nation. I was made aware of this by being a member of a team to streamline the imported supply chain. With communication and brainstorming with our Mexican based supplier we were able to meet our customer demands while respecting the cultural tradition of our supply partner. As a result, this understanding acknowledgment and respect of differences bonded our partnership.

When a variety of people come together to solve problems the forum becomes rich and robust. We must accept the sacrifice of a longer timeline to insure quality solutions.

In conclusion, by having the proper and an adequate supply of resources and personalities that offer unique traits, and members that are diverse, teams are most effective in reaching their goals. By no means is teamwork easy, it requires its members to have and keep an open mind, to have tremendous patience, to take ownership and responsibility, to ask questions, to take criticism, and to consider ideas that are not your own, all the while keeping a clear definition of the goal. When minds come together and accept these requirements in a work team arena, the opportunities for progress is limitless.

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Works Cited

Diversity in the Workplace: Work Teams and Diversity. Ed. Bernie Ghiselin.12 Nov. 1999. U of Maryland. 8 Dec. 2003 <>.

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