Teams are the backbone of business organizations. Business organizations with weak teams are unable to accomplish their respective goals. In order to improve the efficiency of teams, it is important to enhance the effectiveness of teams. The best way to enhance the effectiveness of teams is to change how business leaders understand how teams are supposed to function within a business environment.
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The proponent of this study will examine the insights gleaned from three articles on teamwork. In Ruth Wageman, Heidi Garner, and Mark Mortensen’s article entitled Teams Have Changed: Catching Up to the Future, the authors advised business leaders to change their worldview regarding teams and consider the following insights:
- self-governing teams instead of empowerment;
- the dynamic ecology of technology instead of technology and distance;
- the value of dynamic composition (Wageman and Gardner 49).
The authors said that self-governing teams are more effective, because the members are not only empowered, but they also act based on what the organization needs to do (Wageman, Gardner, and Mortensen 50). In addition, teams must acquire greater freedom when it comes to the use of technology. In other words, it is imperative to remove the limitations created by the IT department and reliance on corporate leaders to provide the most cost-effective technology package that answers their communication and collaboration needs. Finally, the authors suggested dynamic composition over fluid composition in order to create appropriate organizational culture and identity (Wageman, Gardner and Mortensen 51).
In the article entitled Why Teamwork Fails, the author shared the view of Wageman and Gardner, especially when it comes to self-directed teams based on the idea of non-traditional work systems (Vallas 223). According to Vallas, a key component is to reduce reliance on first-line supervisors as team members are expected to “assume the responsibilities previously assigned to supervisors (230).
In the article entitled Six Steps to Leading High-Performing X-Teams, the author supports the idea of creating dynamic and self-directed teams. However, the article’s focus is on the creation of teams that are externally oriented. In this framework, team members are supposed to learn the value of understanding “the external environment, build support with key executives, and coordinate with other groups that can contribute to their project (Ancona, Bresman and Caldwell 217).
In addition, the authors pointed out the following objectives when it comes to creating teams from scratch:
- choose team members for their networks;
- make external outreach the modus operandi from day one;
- help the team focus on the external environment; building support from executives, and task coordination;
- set milestones and deliverables in the context of exploration, exploitation, and exportation;
- use internal process to facilitate external work;
- work with top management for commitment, resources, and support (Ancona, Bresman and Caldwell 222).
The proponent of the study attempted to glean insights from three articles that discussed the best way to use teams in order to improve the effectiveness of business organizations. All three articles favor the dissolution of non-traditional work systems in order to replace it with a new system built on the foundation of dynamic and self-directed teams. However, Ancona, Bresman and Caldwell’s article went even further by asserting that self-directed teams increase their efficiency if there is a bias towards an external focus in order to accomplish tasks using external sources.
Ancona, Debora, Henrik Bresman and David Caldwell. “Six Steps to Leading High- Performing X-Teams.” Organizational Dynamics. 38.3 (2009): 217-224. Print.
Vallas, Stevens. “Why Teamwork Fails: Obstacles to Workplace change in Four Manufacturing Plants.” American Sociological Review. 68.2 (2003): 223-250. Print.
Wageman, Mark, Heidi Gardner and Mark Mortensen. “Teams Have Changed: Catching Up to the Future.” Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 5.1 (2012): 48-52. Print.