Whereas a Work Group is a collection of individuals who coordinate their individual efforts, a Team is a group of people who work together collectively towards a shared vision.
This distinction between a Work Group and a Team is important, because whilst a Team will always achieve more consistent, more significant and more long-term results than a Work Group, a Team is much more difficult to build.
Building a Team requires the commitment and the capacity on the part of the leader to facilitate a natural 4-stage process of team development and due to the nature of their role within that process, to also develop themselves as a leader.
What’s the difference?
A Work Group has an individual and independent focus and the emphasis is on the individuals within the group rather than the group as a collective.
An individual who works as part of a Work Group may have goals, clarity of tasks & responsibilities, and they may even have accountability for outcomes, but whilst they may come together with the rest of the group, it is usually with the sole intent of sharing information as it is their leader/manager that they ultimately look to for direction and guidance.
A Team on the other hand has a collective and interdependent focus and whilst the people in the team are highly valued as individuals, the emphasis is on the group as a collective.
What’s the impact?
An individual who works as part of a Team will have a strong sense of shared purpose because their role and responsibilities are defined by the team’s collective vision and goals. Personal agendas are also team agendas and collective success takes priority over individual success.
Whilst they each have their own roles, they have shared responsibility for outcomes, which means that they depend heavily on each other to perform their respective roles well.
Members of a Team come together frequently and with far greater purpose than to simply to communicate: they discuss challenges and problems, brainstorm solutions, share ideas, plan work and make joint decisions.
People in a team do not look solely to the leader/manager for direction or guidance, they look to each other and so their accountability for outcomes is provided by the team as a whole.
When you successfully leverage interdependence in a group, you have a Team and when you have a Team, the overall achievement is far greater than the sum of the individuals within it. Together Everyone Achieves More.
By leading their team through THE TEAM ALIGNMENT METHOD step by step, even the most inexperienced leader can move their team from a group of people who simply coordinate their individual efforts, to a powerful force, on a mission who work collaboratively towards a shared vision, driving the business forward THROUGH CHOICE.