Rodger Dean Duncan in his book “LeaderSHOP” claims that “Teamwork is more common as a buzzword than as an actual practice”. He continues to write “In a bid to boost performance, teamwork is touted in corporate vision statements, on wall posters, T-shirts, key chains and coffee mugs. Teamwork is the subject of banal pep talks by goofy managers in TV sitcoms. Teamwork has been given a bad name by a world of bad practitioners”.

A team is any group of people working together to achieve a common goal.

Teams are critical to gain competitive advantage, teams outperform the collective effort of individuals. The capacity to lead, develop and manage teams effectively is essential. The question then is, how to build an EFFECTIVE TEAM?

Duncan believes that a team is most likely to be effective when the following five conditions exist:

  1. When it’s a REAL TEAM, not just a team in name only.
  2. When it has a COMPELLING PURPOSE.
  3. When it has a REINFORCING FRAMEWORK that promotes and enables rather than inhibits team achievement.
  4. When it enjoys a NURTURING CONTEXT.
  5. When team members have ready access, individually and collectively, to SKILFUL COACHING on teamwork issues.

The White Paper on the New Science of Great Sports Teams presents the “TRIBE Model” for the building of great teams. This model has been used very successfully not only by sports teams but is also successfully used in business and in the armed forces. The methodology involves five stages viz:

  1. TRADITIONS: Develop a narrative that connects past, present and future.
  2. RELEVANCE: Believe that what you do in the team is meaningful and relevant.
  3. IDENTITY: Build a distinctive identity that distinguishes you and drives performance.
  4. BELONGING: Adjust standards of behaviour that make you feel that you belong.
  5. EFFECTIVENESS: Develop an understanding of strengths and development capability.

Duncan says “Marvellous results can be produced by genuine teamwork. Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they discover strength in unity”.

Skip Prichard’s’ attached article on Rodger Dean Duncan’s collection of lessons from many leadership interviews is attached. I recommend you read it.


(TEAMWORK) - 5 Conditions for an Effective Team

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