When is a team not a team? When it’s really a group! Real teams have a clearly defined mission for which they hold themselves mutually accountable and produce a collective outcome. Just because people are gathered to do something does not automatically make them a team. It takes intentional effort to move from being a group to a team.
A few distinctions between a team and a group include:
– Team members have mutual group accountability and shared responsibility while members of a group have individual accountability
– Teams collectively identify a common goal and approach while a group looks to the leader to define the goal and approach
– Teams are small enough that they can connect and communicate easily and frequently
The president of a company and his executives are a group unless there is focused effort to build trust, achieve results and mutual accountability.
A group of people get on an elevator. A team occurs when the elevator gets stuck! A group has something in common with each other. A team is more than a group; they have a common goal. It is the shared goal that transforms them into a team of people working toward the same outcome – together.
There is a difference between a real team and a group. Sometimes a group is good enough. When you need a team, make sure you take the time and invest in creating the collaboration, shared goal and mutual accountability.