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A colony of ants provides a perfect example of teamwork and the synergistic benefits that can be realised when individuals work together selflessly for a common purpose, in this case the good of the colony!

Although foraging ants provide an excellent example it is much more difficult to develop a teamworking culture within an organisation. Humans, unlike ants, have very large well developed and powerful brains that are capable of thinking and feeling and this presents unimaginable problems and amazing opportunities.

It is possible to make giant improvements by utilising people through involvement and teamworking. However, it must be understood that involvement and teamworking are not quick fix solutions; they take time to develop, require investment and senior management must take an active interest. Payback is usually relatively slow, but if teamworking is implemented as a coordinated and fully supported programme it can be the most cost-effective method of expediting lasting improvement within an organisation.

An Introduction to Employee Involvement and Teamworking
The article provides an outline of the structures, methods, tools and techniques required to implement and manage a successful employee involvement and teamworking programme. The content is based on the experiences of many companies...
Bob Boddy Quality Through Teamwork

The Continuous Process Improvement Environment on the Manufacturing Floor
A well written, amusing and enlightening article on how to drive continuous improvement through the involvement of employees...
Karl Walinskas

Understanding Work Teams
In the last fifteen years, organizational structure has undergone a shift from the individual climb up the corporate ladder to an increasing emphasis on work teams and groups. The shift to work teams is largely due to factors such as globalization, downsizing and the need for technological efficiency...
By Asim Khan - Business Management Group, Inc.

Coaching Process Improvement Teams (pdf 124 kb)
Put a group of people in a room with a problem to solve. Give them a basic method for problem solving and they will solve the problem. Right? Not always...
Lori Silverman Partners for Progress

Use Values to Pull Your Teams Together
Effective teams create an environment where learning (and therefore some failing) is encouraged as well as rewarded. Effective teams have a clear, shared purpose and a vision of the future, they share a set or code of values. JoAnna Brandi explains how to develop "Team Values"...
JoAnna Brandi "The Customer Care Lady"

Ensuring Success: A Model for Self-managed Teams (pdf 119 kb)
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about the benefits of self-managed teams (also known as self-directed teams, natural teams, or semiautonomous work groups)...
Lori Silverman Partners for Progress

Harnessing the Power of Teams
Despite all the team talk of the last few years, few groups are real teams. Too often they're unfocused and uncoordinated in their efforts. In the following article Jim Clemmer outlines a simple team assessment and planning framework, which helps newly formed teams come together and get productive quickly or it assists existing teams to refocus and renew themselves.
Jim Clemmer

Authentic Communication: Dealing with Moose-on-the-Table

Imagine a team meeting around a conference-room table. They are reviewing progress and making plans. Charts are reviewed, slides are projected, documents are handed out, and calculations are made. Now imagine that standing in the middle of the conference-room table is a great big moose...
Jim Clemmer

Culture Change Starts with the Management Team
An organization's behavior ripples out from the management team leading it. So why is it that attempts to improve an organization rarely start in the boardroom with the management team? That's like hiring a contractor to renovate the kitchen but refusing to move anything in the cupboards and insisting that the work not disrupt any meals or family gatherings. The fact is that when change fails, it can almost always be traced to dysfunctional management. So before your company institutes a company-wide improvement program, take a tip from one executive who showed up at a team retreat with folders printed with the company logo and the words "Change Kit: Change Begins Here." Inside, each manager found a large mirror. Don't know where to start? Here are five common management team problems and suggestions on how to deal with them...
Jim Clemmer

Further reading

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
John C. Maxwell

Everyone who works with people is realising that the old autocratic method of leadership simply doesn’t work. The way to win is to build a great team. John C. Maxwell has been teaching the benefits of leadership and team building for years. Now he tackles the importance of teamwork head on, writing about teamwork being necessary for every kind of leader, and showing how team building can improve every area of your life. Written in the style of Maxwell's best-seller 'The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership', this new book not only contains laws that you can count on when it comes to getting people to work together, but it tells them in such a way that you can start applying them to your own life today. And it’s illustrated with great stories of team leaders – and team breakers – from history, business, the church, and sports.
Buy UK Buy US  

Belbin Roles
Dr R. Meredith Belbin's research showed that there are a finite number of behaviours or TEAM ROLES which comprise certain patterns of behaviour which can be adopted naturally by the various personality types found among people at work. The accurate delineation of these TEAM ROLES is critical in understanding the dynamics of any management or work team. The self-scoring paper Self-Perception Inventory (SPI) was originally published in Dr Belbin's book 'Management Teams Why They Succeed Or Fail' (1981). If you've never taken the test, it's fun and you can now complete the latest version online...

Teamworks: Skills for Collaborative Work
Teamworks is a superb resource and should be your first stop if you want to learn about team development in a structured way. The Teamworks 'Virtual Team Assistant' leads you through a series of modules from team building basics to teaching with teams...

Organizational Development and Change Library
The Team Building library is just one section of the Free Management Library lovingly prepared by Carter McNamara of Authenticity Consulting, LLCA...





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