Are you creating teams or just collecting talent?

  |   Teams Print Friendly and PDF
Are you creating teams or just collecting talent? post image

“Dream Team.”

It’s a phrase to conjure with, summoning up thoughts of the 1992 US Men’s Olympic Basketball team. And it seems like a logical way to create a great team, too. Just recruit or select the best people, give them their assignment, then stand back and count your blessings.

Sound great, eh? Except in real life, it rarely works out that way. Teams are about collective functioning and it’s rare indeed when an All-Star team is the best team.

Diversity matters.

The best teams come up with innovative solutions to problems. You’re more likely to get a diversity of insights if you’ve got diversity among your team members. That’s diversity of thought and diversity of background and experience.

The pieces should fit together.

Team members should have different strengths and abilities, but they should complement each other. Make sure you’ve got all the skills you need to do your job. In my experience, a “class clown” is a necessity when the team hits a rough spot.

Only team players will do.

Your team members should be the kind of people who play well with others. That means every one of them. One self-serving rotten apple can spoil your whole barrel. Pick people for your team based on their reputation as team players. Don’t make the mistake of bringing on the talented egomaniac because “this time will be different.”

Psychological safety is mandatory.

To reap the benefits of all that diversity of thought and skills, people have to speak up. They’re not going to do it if they think speaking up is a risky proposition.

Leadership is crucial.

The best teams have a team leader. He or she is responsible for articulating the direction and purpose of the team. He or she monitors team health and functions as a medic when necessary. He or she is usually the “default decider.”

Takeaways

The best players do not always make the best teams.

Diversity matters.

The pieces should fit together.

Only team players will do.

Psychological safety is mandatory.

Leadership is crucial.

Leave a Comment

What People Are Saying

There are no comments yet, why not be the first to leave a comment?