Why Your Team Building Didn’t Work

Organizations try lots of ways to increase teamwork among their top group, from team-building exercises and ropes courses, to training and outings. In most cases, these don’t result in operating improvements because the group at the top isn’t a team, but a committee. The difference is more than semantic. In a team, the members are all measured and rewarded on a common goal. They either make the goal or not. Also, they are usually self-directed. Committees are made up of people with different objectives. They share information and resources if it doesn’t conflict with their own agendas and needs. To attempt to build a team in a committee is futile. You can take them out to a social function together, or swing on ropes through trees, or put them through a team building retreat, but when they get back to work, they’ll still be pursuing their own agendas. Instead of teambuilding, maybe what you need is better collaboration, more open communication, or incentives that are based more on overall results.

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