Whether you’re managing a startup or work for a major corporation, putting together a successful business team can be a daunting task. Though it may be easy to identify colleagues who are all superstars individually, compiling them into one team can still yield undesirable results. After all, if this weren’t the case, there would never be any underdog victories or unbelievable success stories. Sometimes the most unlikely business teams are best fit to get the job done. But why do some teams fail? And how can you develop a successful team assessment?
Answering these questions is complicated, and each specific situation yields a unique answer. However, there are several common factors that can lead to poor results from any team, even if they seem perfect on paper. Here are three reasons a team may be on the road to failure:
1. Lack of vision
The Houston Chronicle notes that without a clearly defined goal understood by every team member, there will be a disparity in how each member believes that goal should be reached. Tangible, specific goals should be written out beforehand. Each team member should walk into a project with the same understanding of what needs to be accomplished. If the endgame is up for interpretation, it will likely lead to a loss of cohesion within a group. This leads to reduced productivity, as the team will potentially wind up spending more time trying to sort out the parameters of the task at hand than actually accomplishing it.
2. Lack of planning
Lack of planning and lack of vision seemingly go hand in hand. Inc. points out that many teams are expected to reach a goal without receiving the proper prior training and support, making it a doomed venture from the get-go. A successful business team will not only need training relevant to the task it is trying to accomplish, but also may need training in cooperative and collaborative strategies. In other words, you should never take for granted that everyone has the natural ability to work well on a team. Business simulations and peer evaluation are effective tools for bettering teamwork within an academic or professional setting and identifying strong leaders. Successful teams are briefed thoroughly beforehand and evaluated critically after each success or failure.
“The lack of strong leadership can quickly slow a team down.”
3. Lack of leadership
The lack of strong leadership can quickly slow a team down. Positive leaders can effectively delegate responsibility, approach problems with both a macrocosmic and microcosmic perspective and can help define roles within the group. Successful leaders will have a more comprehensive understanding of the task at hand, be prepared to answer questions from other team members and quickly be able to address fissures in the group’s cohesiveness. While a good leader will likely be an expert in one or two distinct fields, he or she will also be able to wear many hats and adapt to new challenges. Leaders often have a deeper level of experience and have familiarity with many different branches of an organization.