Difference between a Team and a Group?
the art of building teams

Difference between a Team and a Group?

For years, companies have been investing in developing teams, through team building programmes, which usually comprise games and challenges, designed to test their effectiveness to achieve the objectives, as a team. What we have observed is despite working together and overcoming these challenges, in practice, people often refer to teams when they really mean just groups. Not every group is a Team. MICE events offer the opportunity to develop groups into teams.

What changes transform a group of people, to a Team who are committed to a common purpose and have mutual accountability? More importantly, what makes an effective team?

Experience has given us the following insights:

Teams share leadership and recognise the importance of doing so:

Groups have leaders who others in the group follow. That’s a Given Role.

But teams go beyond Given roles. Beyond each individual’s given roles, there is a Taken Role as well. It is this Taken role that has no position, no designation but a desire to work together to achieve the common purpose. It is this Taken role that allows other team members to shine and contribute in different situations and instances, to even take a leadership role in that moment, when needed. It is this Taken role that make team members step up and makes team members allow others to step up.

Experience has taught us that teams can only really live up to their full potential and achieve greatness when this is done and when it’s a Shared Leadership.

It’s not I, it’s not US, it’s WE Leadership!

Teams have a clearly defined purpose:

Discard any feeling of random assortment, Teams are together because they have a shared common purpose. Being a part of something larger than themselves gives them more meaning and strength in their tasks than alone. Members have clear roles and responsibilities and in turn, are engaged and committed.

Every member is accountable:

Mutual accountability is voluntary, it’s built on reciprocal trust without the need for punishments or penalties for short comings. It’s imperative for an effective team to have a high level of transparency and discretionary motivation to transform a group into a team.

Effective Teams embrace conflict: An optimal team embraces disagreements and takes it as a way to progress with the best practice in mind. Mutual respect is key for feedback to be taken positively.

Effective Teams don’t resist change:

The world and its contents are ever changing. Effective teams are agile and able to evolve in harmony with their internal and external environments. Having an array of complimentary skills within a team creates versatility – Apple wouldn’t still be relevant without it’s constant reinvention and innovation!

Co written by Ludovic Odier and Sudhir Nair

Contributed by CLIA – OIA PTE LTD