Business Teams Go Through Predictable Stages

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<p><strong>San Diego &mdash; March 15</strong><br />Most of the work in organizations is done by teams, yet most teams do not reach their potential relative to performance and bottom-line results. </p><p>Organizations need processes that can jump-start new teams, breathe life into existing teams and develop leaders who can dramatically influence team success.<br /><br />Research over the past 60 years consistently has demonstrated that regardless of their purpose, teams go through predictable stages on their path to high performance. </p><p>Findings support that a team&rsquo;s performance hinges largely on how well they work through these classic stages of team development.<br /><br />Two variables determine the team development stage: productivity and morale. </p><p>Productivity is the amount and quality of the work accomplished. It depends on members&rsquo; ability to collaborate, their knowledge and skills, clear goals and access to needed resources. </p><p>Morale is the team&rsquo;s confidence, motivation and unity in achieving the purpose. Studies have proven that intervening with the appropriate leadership style at each stage will help the team progress to or maintain high performance. </p><p>Building a high-performing team requires a leader who can manage the team&rsquo;s journey from dependence to interdependence.<br /><br />&ldquo;Today&rsquo;s leader must be an enabler of people and a facilitator of teams &mdash; not only as an effective team leader but as an effective team member, as well,&rdquo; said Don Carew, who, along with Ken Blanchard and Eunice Parisi-Carew, wrote &quot;The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams.&quot; </p><p>The authors agree that when a great team leader&rsquo;s job is done, team members will say, &ldquo;We did it ourselves.&quot; <br />&nbsp;<br />Their answer to helping teams through the inevitable series of development stages as they grow from a collection of individuals to a high-performing unit is to teach team leaders how to diagnose their teams&rsquo; development stages and determine the appropriate leadership style required to help teams progress through these stages. </p><p>This applies whether the teams work face-to-face or virtually.<br /><br />A decade or so ago, virtual teams were almost nonexistent. Today, technology, globalization and the need for fast responses to marketplace demands dramatically have changed the way business is conducted. </p><p>Many people &mdash; from senior executives to frontline employees &mdash; can be physically separated and required to work together effectively without having ever met one another face to face. </p><p>The reality is that most teams do some or all of their work in a virtual setting, where teammates housed in another building might be as virtual as those around the globe. </p><p>The new test facing businesses is how to get virtual team members to work well together across geographic, cultural and organizational boundaries to deliver results.</p>

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