Business teams are a fact of business life. Some of those teams are great, while others aren’t. Here’s what I think sets the great ones apart.
Business teams are business teams.
Forget the sports analogies. For business teams, every day is game day. Roles can often shift. So when you read the research, make sure it’s about business teams.
Great business teams are great working environments
Great business teams are great places to work. They’re highly productive and morale is high.
Processes and systems are important.
The best source I’ve found on this is an article in the Sloan Management Review titled: “How to Manage Virtual Teams.” Virtual teams are the main focus, but the article covers all kinds of teams. Here’s the money quote.
“virtual teams that had processes that increased the levels of mutual support, member effort, work coordination, balance of member contributions and task-related communications consistently outperformed other teams with lower levels.”
The boss makes a difference
Bosses are still important. They’re the people who make the greatest impact on productivity and morale. One of the most important boss contributions is making sure everyone is on the same page and singing in harmony. That happens through regular and frequent team and one-on-one meetings.
A Great Resource on High Performing Teams
Jesse Lyn Stoner is an expert on how people collaborate effectively. Naturally she’s done research and written about effective teams. There’s a lot of good stuff on her web site and her post “The Six Benchmarks of High Performance Teams” is a great place to start exploring.