We all have heard and know of teamwork. Teams are a part of everyday organized work cultures in any industry. They are formed and oriented towards the achievement of pre-defined tasks and goals in any company.
However, changing business dynamics necessitates going beyond traditional focus on just teamwork.
When an organization is required to accomplish an objective the doings for which have never been attempted earlier, and might not possibly be done repeatedly, it is simply not feasible to scout for the right mix of skillsets beforehand in hopes the objective would be achievable. Under such a scenario it is best to be flexible and inculcate and enable ‘teaming’.
As rising intricate and progressive issues emerge at workplace, teams are necessitated to be more flexible. People from different functions and even geographies join hands in accomplishing a particular purpose – post completion of which they demobilize – only to form new teams for different purposes. This is what teaming is, in practice. Some such people may often be part of several temporary teams simultaneously.
Not only does such a practice result in more efficiency, it fosters organizational learning and development at large. It helps resolve multi-functional problems and promotes inventiveness, besides delivering expansion of knowledge and skills at the employee-level as well.
Leaders who wish to execute successful teaming must give consideration to the following aspects:
- Establish an assisting platform: As there cannot be predictable phases in teaming, a supportive framework that enables execution and learning together is necessary. Simple ways may include a common information board which is regularly updated by all; a WhatsApp group for real-time updates; and a common meeting room for the teammates functioning at the same location.
- Prioritize interdependent tasks: Cross-functional groups often don’t see eye-to-eye on several matters, and would fail to reach any consensus if not guided properly. Herein, a leader must clearly define and prioritize interdependent tasks and emphasize that the sub-groups must gather for a discussion at specific points either face-to-face or virtually.
- Foster a holistic approach to information and skills’ sharing: People may hesitate to share information for fear of sounding incompetent or, on the other hand, not willing to share ‘hard-earned’ knowledge. At times they may resent doing so because their ideas are not duly paid attention to. All this is purely disastrous for effective teaming. So, a leader must encourage participation from all quarters, emphasizing that this is necessary for overall task-achievement, as well as duly lauding the expertise and inventiveness of the members. He must lead by example by being generous with sharing his own expertise, and be a good listener.
- Don’t shy away from conflicts: Being cross-functional, conflicts are invariable in teaming. Rather than avoiding or stamping them out, a leader must try to resolve conflicts in a productive way – for where conflicts resolve, new opportunities sprout!