Team Leadership

Warren Bennie offers to organizational Development as a response to change. He says it is a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of the organization so that they can better adapt to new technologies, marketing approaches, challenges and the dizzying rate of change itself. Organizational Development is neither “anything done to better an organization” nor is it “the training function of the organization”; it is a particular kind of change process designed to bring about a particular kind of end result.

Organizational Development can involve interventions in the organization’s processes,” using behavioral science knowledge as well as organizational reflection, system improvement, planning and self-analysis. Kurt Lenin (1898- 1947) is widely recognized as the founding father of Organizational Development, although he died before the concept became current in the mid-sass. After Lenin were the ideas of group dynamics and action research which underpin the basic Organizational Development process as well as providing its collaborative consultant/client ethos. 1. 1 Importance of Organization Development Organizational development takes into consideration how the organization and its constituents or employees unction together. Does the organization meet the needs of its employees? Do the employees work effectively to make the organization a success? How can the symbiotic relationship between employee satisfaction and organizational success be optimized? Organizational development places emphasis on the human factors and data inherent in the organization-employee relationship.

Organizational development strategies can be used to help employees become more committed and more adaptable, which ultimately improves the organization as a whole. The Organizational Development process is initiated hen there is a need, gap, or dissatisfaction within the organization, either at the upper management level or within the employee Organizational Development. Ideally, the process involves the organization in its entirety, with evidenced support from upper management and engagement in the effort by all members from each level of the organization. 2. TEAM LEADERSHIP A team is a unit of interdependent individuals with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and set of performance goals and to common expectations for which they hold themselves accountable. The team concept implies a sense f shared mission and collective responsibility. It is the collective mentality that focuses on sharing insights, information and perspectives. Leadership on the other hand is the ability to influence a group of people to achieve a certain objective. Team leadership is therefore the ability to influence a unit of interdependent individuals to achieve a common purpose.

The need for team leadership exists because teams are made up of many personalities, mindsets, motives and agendas. An effective team leader requires a shift in mindset and behavior for those who are accustomed to working in traditional organizations in which managers make all the decisions. 4 A lack of effective leadership is often seen as a roadblock to a team’s performance. As Stewart and Mans write, “More specifically, work team management or supervision is often identified as a primary reason why self- management teams fail to properly develop and yield improvements in productivity, quantity, and quality of life for American workers. 2. 1 Team Leadership Model While there are several Team Leadership models, Hill’s Team model is perhaps one of the better known ones as it provides the leader or a designated team member with a mental road map to help diagnose am problems, and then take appropriate action to correct team problems (Morehouse, 2007). Figure 1: Team Leadership Model 5 The four layers or steps in the Team Leadership Model are: Top layer: Effective team performance begins with leaders mental model of the situation and then determining if the situation requires Action or just Monitoring?

Second Layer: Is it at an Internal or External leadership level? Third layer: Is it Task, Relational, or an Environmental intervention? Select a function depending on the type of intervention. See the next section for explanation of Function Interventions. Bottom layer: Correctly performing the above three steps create high Performance through Development and Maintenance functions. 2. 2 Team Leadership Function Interventions 2. 21 Internal Task Functions Focus on goals by clarifying and/or getting agreement Restructure plans, processes, roles, etc. N order to gain desired results (process improvement) Guide the decision-making process so that better information is obtained, coordination is better, focusing on issues, etc. Train members through both formal and informal means Assess performance an confront when necessary 2. 2. Internal Relationship Functions Coach team members Use more collaborative methods to involve all team members (this survey includes questions to determine if the environment is collaborative) Manage conflict Build commitment and esprit De corps through the use of ethos leadership Satisfy team members’ needs Model what you expect from your team members 6 2. 3 External Environmental Functions Network to increase influence and gather information Advocate by representing your team so that it shows them at their best Get support for your team by gathering resources and recognition for your team Buffer the team from environmental distractions Assess the environment through surveys and other performance indicators to determine its impact on the organization Share information with the team 7 3. 0 TEAMWORK Teamwork is an understanding and commitment to group goals on the part of all group members.

A team leader’s greatest challenge is to drive the team towards gaining acceptance of the team’s goals by each member of the team and getting their commitment towards pursuing the goals as a team. A team is a small number of people with shared leadership who perform interdependent jobs with individual and group accountability, evaluation, and rewards. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks. A team can also be defined as a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. . 1 Types of Teams in an Organization Permanent teams These teams perform on a permanent basis and are not dissolved once the task is accomplished. Work or no work, the human resources team, operation team, administration team always function effectively throughout the year and hence are permanent teams. Temporary teams Unlike permanent teams, temporary names lose their importance, once the task is accomplished. Such teams are usually formed for a shorter duration either to assist the permanent team or work when the members of the permanent team are busy in some other project.

When organizations have excess work, they generally form temporary teams which work in association with the members of the permanent team for the accomplishment of the task within the stipulated time. Task Force 8 Such teams are formed for a special purpose of working on any specific project or finding a solution to a very critical problem. The Kenya government generally points special teams to investigate critical issues like land disputes, terrorist attacks and so on. The task force explores all the possible reasons which led to a severe problem and tries to resolve it within a given deadline.

Committee Committees are generally formed to work on a particular assignment either permanently or on a temporary basis. Individuals with common interests, more or less from the same background come together on a common platform to form a committee and work on any matter. When organizing any formal or informal event, organizations generally convene a committee to raise funds, invite celebrities and all the major tasks involved to successfully organize the event. The committee members work together, design strategies to successfully accomplish the task.

Work Force These groups are formed in organizations where team members work together under the expert guidance of a leader. A leader is generally appointed among the members and he, along with his team, works hard to achieve a common goal. The leader must stand by his team all through and extract the best out of each team member. He must not underestimate any of his team members and must guide his team along to avoid conflicts. Self Managed Teams (SMS) SMS consist of individuals who work together again for a common purpose but without the supervision of any leader.

The team members of self managed teams must respect each other and should never lose focus on their target. Individuals take the initiative on their own and are their own guides and mentors. 9 Cross Functional Team Individuals from different areas come and work together for a common objective to form a cross functional team. In such teams, people from different areas, interests and likings join hands to come out with a unique idea to successfully complete a task. Virtual Teams Virtual teams consist of individuals who are separated by distances and connected through computer. Here individuals communicate with each other online through internet.

Such teams are helpful when employees need to connect with each other and are located at different places. Individuals supporting any community in social networking sites such as face book or twitter also form a virtual team as all the members are from different locations but support a common community. They all have a common objective -to support and promote their community. 3. 2 Self Managed Teams (SMS) Versus Conventional Teams. Self Managed Teams are self- organized, semi-autonomous small group whose members determine, plan and manage their duties under reduced or no supervision.

It is also referred to as self directed team or self-managed natural work team. Members are charged with duties and take responsibilities for sketching how they will achieve the team’s objectives. Team accountability is a significant responsibility. SMS members are responsible not only for their own performance, but for that of other team members as well. Smuts receive team-level feedback and rewards. This recognizes and reinforces the fact that the team (not individuals) is responsible for the work, although team members may also receive individual feedback and rewards.

SMS members often share and rotate the roles in the team. One may be a follower today and a leader tomorrow. As opposed to being specialized, SMS members develop multistoried capabilities such that they are flexible to perform various tasks within the team. 10 In the conventional teams model, also referred to as traditional management role, the manager is responsible for providing instruction, conducting communication, developing plans, giving orders, and disciplining and rewarding employees, and making decisions by virtue of his or her position. The leader maintains control over work related issues.

The key differences between self managed teams and conventional teams can be summarized as shown in the table below. Characteristics 1. Team Leadership 2. Team members roles 3. Accountability 4. Work efforts 5. Task Design 6. Members skills Self-Managed Teams Within the team Interchangeable Team Cohesive or interconnected Flexible / dynamic Multistoried Conventional teams Outside the team Unchanging Individual team members Divided Fixed / static Specialized 3. 3 Merits and Demerits of Teamwork Merits 1. It is possible to achieve synergy here the team’s total output exceeds the sum of the various members’ contributions. . The team is likely to avoid major errors since they often evaluate each others’ thinking. 3. They contribute well to continuous improvement and innovation. 11 4. They create a work environment that encourages people to become cultivated, empowered and satisfied with their jobs. 5. It is possible to satisfy more needs as opposed to when only a person worked alone. Demerits 1. Members face pressure to conform to group standards of performance and conduct this can cause non-conformist, though critical to the task, to be kicked UT of the team. 2.

Social loafing can occur. This is the conscious or unconscious tendency by some members to shirk responsibilities by withholding effort towards group goals when they are not individually accountable for their work. 3. Corrupting tendencies may result where members of a cohesive group tend to agree on a decision, not on the basis of its merit, but because they are less willing to risk rejection for questioning a majority viewpoint or presenting a dissenting opinion. 4. Extremely cohesive teams can become a source of conflict with other teams in the organization. 12 4.

TEAM BUILDING Team building is the selection and grouping of a mix of people and the development of skills required within the group to achieve agreed objectives. Team building is not only about team productivity, unity, cooperation and belonging. They are about something much greater. It is also about cultivating a sense of self-worth by esteeming the inner being of a person as a full and valued member of the community. It integrates the person to people. H. E. Luck said “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it. ” This truly defines the essence of team work.

You can only create a homophony in an orchestra when each one plays their instrument in harmony. Alone, you have only your own knowledge and world view. The team brings a pool of experiences, expertise and attitudes needed for the higher level of solutions needed worldwide. In organizational development and change management, teams are used to drive a specific goal. The team can be drawn from various departments to build the required skills for the project. Teamwork is required in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in the team’s activities.

In building an effective team: Team leaders must recognize that not everyone knows how to be a team player The team leader must model the behavior he desires to see in the team. The leader plays a pivotal role in defining the values of the team He must have a self sacrificing behavior to go beyond what is expected of him and display self confidence to influence team members. A team finds it easier to follow a leader that is confident in their ability to lead the team. The team leader should not just issue orders, but he must get involved in making things happen.

The team must perceive their leader as part of the team while at the same time respecting him as their leader. He must be ready to ‘get his hands dirty’ in demonstrating what he needs the team to do. 13 An effective team is not just about its leader. The values of the individual team members are also critical in building an effective team. The team must hold the following values in order to be effective: Have commitment to people in the team as well as the task at hand. Each member must work cordially with fellow team members without losing purpose of the assigned role. Members should have the desire to support and serve the team as well as lead from the front. Each member must understand that they are ‘as strong as their weakest chain’ ND hence should be ready to support those needing support. Enthusiasm, energy, inspiration and sufficient expertise is critical. Each must have a willingness to shoulder responsibility. An effective team does not play the blame game. They view the team goals as their personal responsibility and do all in their power in achieving the goals Ability to make the team come together to achieve more than a group of individuals. . 1 Characteristics of an Effective Team Experience has demonstrated that successful teams are empowered to establish some or all of a team’s goals, to make decisions about how to achieve hose goals, to undertake the tasks required to meet them and to be mutually accountable for their results. There are several characteristics of an effective team. These include: 1. Clear purpose: The vision, mission, goal or task of the team must be defined and is accepted by everyone. This is an action plan. 2. Care for each other: The teams that are most effective care about each member’s welfare.

They have a genuine interest in each other and their success and fulfillment. Think about times when things were going really well in a group. More than likely one 14 f the most powerful things that was pulling the team together was genuine interest in each other. 3. Open and truthful: When teams are open and truthful, they step forward; say things that need to be said, all in the interest of helping the team to get results. 4. Consensus decisions: Consensus decision making is not about avoid taking decisions or watering down decisions.

It is about looking for the best win-win outcome for the team. 5. Commitment: Teams that are effective are committed to getting the results they desire. They know where they are heading, are highly motivated and persistent even when setbacks rise. Commitment in many ways is about doing what it takes to get the result you want. 6. Address conflict: The difference between those teams that excel and those that struggle is that conflict is addressed. Rather than seeing it as something negative, teams recognize it as healthy and to be worked through in order to get the desired results. . Real listening: Listening is the key to effective communication and effective teams know that it is important to really listen and understand. Real listening is about focusing attention on the communicator rather than your own personal agenda. Teams who only master this will go a long way to being more effective. 8. Express feelings: We are often told to keep emotions and feelings out of the work place. Yet in truth, if teams want to be effective they need to create a safe and courageous space for feelings to be expressed. Think about an investment decision.

Accounting, marketing, operations, production, distribution and human resources will feel differently about the decision. It is important that these feelings can be expressed without fear or ridicule. 15 9. Informality: The climate tends to be informal, comfortable and relaxed. There re no obvious tensions or signs of boredom. 10. Shared leadership: Effective teams share leadership roles depending upon the circumstances, needs of the group, and expertise of members. 1 1 . Measurement and Self-assessment: Effective teams have clear shared measures.

They schedule time to regularly assess their progress and performance, identifying achievements and areas for improvement. 12. Systems and Procedures: Effective teams implement and support procedures to guide and regulate team functioning. 13. Strong Relationships: Effective teams work on building and maintaining internal relationships. Team members are supportive; trust one another and have a lot of fun together. Members also invest in developing relationships and building credibility with important stakeholders in other parts of the organization. 14.

Planning Meetings: Preparation for team meetings have a direct effect on the meeting. Planning is needed in at least five areas: objectives, selecting participants and making assignments, the agenda, the time and place for the meeting, and leadership. A written copy of the plan should be sent to members prior to the meeting. 4. 2 Challenges of Sustaining an Effective Team Teams irking well deliver better results faster than any one individual could ever hope to do. Yet challenges often get in the way of delivering the great results that are possible.

The common team working challenges can be described as follows; Personal agenda being priority – For most of our life we are conditioned to do things by ourselves, such as passing exams, getting a college place, finding a job, securing a promotion, to name just a few. We therefore get used to pursuing our personal agenda. 16 To get results in a team you need to create conditions where success or failure depends on the team as a whole. Using conflict – Conflict in teams is inevitable and conflict is not a bad thing. Conflict should be productive rather than destructive.

Used well, conflict can be channeled to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, encourage creativity and ultimately achieve a better outcome. Disengagement – Teams achieve more when all of the members are fully engaged and focused on the outcome. The challenge is to avoid situations where people on the team become disengaged. Silo thinking – This is a particular challenge where you have people in teams from different professional disciplines or unction within the organization. It is all too easy for people to drift into analyzing what it will mean for their particular discipline and to start viewing things in win-lose terms.

Lack of clarity – Achieving anything starts with being clear on what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. As a leader of a team, it is important that the team as a collective has clarity on the outcomes and why they are so important. Cultural differences – Virtual teams slowed down decision making, this is hampered by different leadership styles and the methods of decision-making are also a challenge. Lack of effective communication Effective communication is essential to achieve team objective. When proper communication lacks it become difficult to carry the team agenda.

Lack of contact – The absence of face-to-face contact interferes with the ability to build a relationship (which is perceived as a challenge facing virtual teams). 17 4. 3 Improving Team Effectiveness Trust Regardless of whether in the workplace, home or leisure environment, trust is absolutely essential as without it there is likely to be much conflict and simply an inability to build relationships and be able to work effectively as a team. Particularly within the workplace environment trust is essential to maintaining good working relationships between colleagues, employees and employers.

Trust requires honesty, which is crucial to being able to work efficiently without worrying that one is going to be stabbed in the back or manipulated out of a job. Accountability Without accountability it is completely impossible to work efficiently within the workplace environment or indeed any other environment as a team. Feedback is a key part of accountability as this is necessary to help individuals to understand how they are progressing. Regardless of a person’s expertise or position it is important to have another person who will hold him or her accountable.

Accountability reduces the likelihood of a person getting sidetracked at work and is a valuable means of keeping track of employees. This issue also helps reduce conflict as it creates opportunity for individuals to recognize their role within the wider team and how they may improve on key skills. Communication Skills and Teamwork A really crucial aspect of effective teamwork is being able to communicate well with one another. Thus requires the following skills: active listening, negotiation skills, nonverbal communication awareness and patience.

It is also important to be aware of tone, gestures and facial expressions as these will have an impact on how one is perceived by other members of the team. Team empowerment 18 Create a sense of empowerment so team members take ownership of what they are doing and how they are going to do it. Designate a team leader to ensure critical team management functions are accomplished, however, if leadership responsibilities are rotated among members, a climate of shared leadership may be fostered and this should lead to the team feeling empowered.

Purpose Have well thought out vision of the way in which the team will fit into the scheme of the entire organization. Training Provide adequate training so team member skills and experiences match task requirements. Identify specific areas that need improvement and develop solutions from a team based perspective. Also allow time after training for the team members to bond with one another and form team skills, this an avenue to break team barriers and create opportunities for co-operation.