Businesses are much more likely to create desired results when their people work effectively as a team, especially in environments where change is constant, there’s a need to consider the views of multiple stakeholders and service users, where the desired results rely on the passion and drive of motivated people, and/or where there are limited time and resources.
So what is teamwork?
Teamwork is defined as: the combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient.
For me, the key is in the term ‘combined action’. In other words action that comes from the collective efforts of the people and not one individual, or multiple individuals, but performed individually.
In a teamwork environment, people believe that ‘none of us is as good as all of us’ and so thinking, planning, decision-making and action-taking are all better done collaboratively. This is because good teamwork creates synergy and synergy is powerful, because the result of the combined effect of the team is greater than the sum of individual efforts.
How do you spot it?
When a group of people are working as a team, they are actively working towards a shared vision (the what) and with a common purpose (the why) and whilst they are contributing their individual knowledge, skills and experience to the cause, they are intentionally leveraging the knowledge, skills and experience of everyone in the team for the benefit of the bigger picture.
This enables them to recognise and play to their strengths whilst admitting areas of weakness and skill gaps, it enables them to identify and solve complex problems quickly and to come up with and implement innovative solutions that are way beyond the scope of any one individual, and it enables them to do this with less effort.
And there are benefits for the individuals too because teamwork gives people a sense of connection and belonging (a basic human need), it provides camaraderie and support, it enables learning and growth, it nurtures self-esteem and confidence and it develops skills and strengths.