Teamwork Module Study Notes

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University of Waterloo
Accounting & Financial Management
AFM 131
Robert Sproule

TeamworkModule Realities of Teams Today  Personality clashes between team members or disagreements about the level of contribution of individual team members need to be resolved  Effective team members are: committed (reliable and trustworthy), willing to offer and ask for help, motivated (invest time and energy to achieve team goals), ensuring that each team member is supported in contributing to the achievement of team goals Teamwork and collaboration at Cisco Systems:  How was the change justified – improve company productivity leveraging past successful experiences with teams  Compare command and control versus collaboration and teamwork – each has their place; the former is needed to implement decisions; the latter is needed to come up with the decision on what to do  The CEO’s biggest challenge – letting go of his authority to make decisions and giving teams the time to come up with the decision Individual Differences:  Work styles, cultural backgrounds, and personalities (including introvert and extravert) The act of providing feedback:  is affirmative to the receiver  increases motivation for both the giver and the receiver  promotes learning  improves the relationship between the giver and the receiver  should be: genuinely helpful, affirmative and supportive, collaborative, timely, clear and direct, specific and focused on a limited number of issues and should be checked for understanding, and should provide direction for improvement Strategies to use when receiving feedback:  receiver should control feedback  focus on understanding the feedback, not necessarily agreeing with it  provide information to correct misinformation or misperception  express what you will do with the feedback Stages of Team Development – Tuckman (Article)  The behaviour of a team changes over time on two dimensions: o Task behaviour (related to completing all the team activities) o Interpersonal behaviour (related to dealing with each other)  This behaviour follows a predictable/sequential pattern including 5 stages Stage I: Forming  Task behaviour - orientation to the task, setting ground rules, deciding what experience and information is relevant to the task  Interpersonal behaviour - relying on the team leaders in determining acceptable behaviour o Test what is acceptable and not o Dependence vs. independence of team members to the formal/informal leader Stage II: Storming  Task behaviour - some degree of resistance to the demands of the task based on perception of the difficulty of the task or personal abilities  Interpersonal behaviour - conflict due to individual differences or the imposition of structure on individual behaviour o A sense of unity will not be present o Asking “Do I really want to work with these people?” Stage III: Norming  Task behaviour - open exchange of information, ideas and opinions related to the team task  Interpersonal behaviour - acceptance of the team and each other leading to team unity plus harmony and the avoidance of interpersonal conflict o Development of team cohesion Stage IV: Performing  Task behaviour - implementation of decisions as the team moves to successful completion of the task, emergence of solutions o Genuine attempts are made towards the successful completion of the task  Interpersonal behaviour - relationship issues have been or will quickly be dealt with so team members focus on effective problem solving, functional Stage V: Adjourning  Task behaviour - tasks wrapped up and team members move on  Interpersonal behaviour - team members thank each other and say good bye o Reflect and learn from their experience o Closure is an essential part of the team process Conclusion  This developmental sequence is inevitable resulting in significant task performance once the performing stage is reached.  A conscious effort to answer questions associated with each behaviour in each stage can more quickly transition a team to the Performing stage.  Knowledge about each stage will help in solving any current problems that arise. Five Conditions for Team Success – Hackman (Article)  How well a team performs depends on how well a leader designs and supports the team so that the team can manage themselves; not on the leader's personality or management style.  Teams can outperform the equivalent number of individuals but often don't because teams haven't typically been used in an individual's life experiences, and the five conditions are not in place at the appropriate time in a team's existence. I: A Real Team  Enacted when teams are first formed  Gets team members comfortable thinking and acting at the team level, and include four features: o Objective - provides teams with the opportunity to work interdependently to produce something together o Boundaries - knowing who is in the team supports responsibility and accountability o Authority:  Executing of the work, monitor and manage the work process, design the tasks and source resources, setting the direction o Stability of the team over time - allows for greater team time allocated to working together II: Compelling Direction  Enacted when teams are first formed  Controls energy and increases motivation through a collective focus and i
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