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“The Team”

It seems that several coaches/gurus/consultants/experts use the term “the team” frequently in discussing their work. AS IF there was one, and only one, team: “let the team decide“, “meet the team’s needs“, etc. In complex orgs, there is NOT solely one team. There are many diverse teams and team types. Thus, as expected, their needs can, and do, clash.

To simplify the ensuing, one-way, BD00-to-you discussion, assume the existence of only three different team types:

Team Types

Just like an individual must sometimes relinquish/suppress a personal need(s) for the greater good of the team, a particular team type must sometimes eschew one or more of its needs for the greater good of a different team type. In darker times, sometimes ALL teams must sacrifice some of their needs for the greater good of the “whole“. After all, if the “whole” goes bust, then all the teams being sustained by it go bust too. In a robust org, the converse is not true: if one team fails, the org will live on.

The Whole

Is it possible to simultaneously satisfy every single need of each individual, each team, each team type, and the meta-physical “whole“? Since some idealistic people seem to think so, I suppose so – but I’m highly skeptical. The universe has always been, and always will be, gloriously messy. Because of the unavoidable human diversity residing within and across team types, a delicate give-and-take balancing act is necessary to keep the whole intact. Sometimes I gotta give to you and sometimes I gotta take from you. Sometimes you gotta give to me and sometimes you gotta take from me.

Give Take

  1. Dick Danjin
    September 1, 2014 at 7:21 am

    AS a academic exercise the example appears to make sense.Dr. Elliot Jacques once said to me ” dick organizations do not hire teams nor do they fire teams ” That was in the time frame when Sholtes book Team was all the rage..When I was still working in the plant 1963-1985 by the start of 1982 I had in place 199 groups involving about 2200 workers meeting weekly.Mt plant manager was selected by GM to be one of the Saturn group of 99.He called me into his office and asked me with all these groups ( that only existed when they met not on the plant floor) how i felt about putting “TERAMS” on the plant floor I said NO !

    • September 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience. You’ve mentioned Mr. Jacques several times before. I’m going to have to read some of his work.

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