These Four Things Lead to Team Success
Great basketball players know that no matter how good a shot they are, they need to pass the ball sometimes to achieve team success. They are not always going to have a clear look at the basket, and at times they may be fully surrounded by members of the opposing team. Rather than risk a failed shot, they would be wise to pass the ball to teammates who can bring home victory.
Work-teams—much like sports teams—are a collection of distinct individuals with a common goal: success. Whether that work-team is a cluster of students working on a class assignment, or a group of c-suite executives supporting their CEO, teammates must be able to trust each other and must be committed to the betterment of the group.
The authors (Haas & Mortensen, 2016) describe today’s work-teams as “4-D” – diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic. Based on their research and experience they offer four enabling conditions that encourage team effectiveness, and will set up your team for success.
ENABLING CONDITIONS FOR TEAM SUCCESS
At the core of every team and collection of people is their shared goal. This is the team’s collective mission and purpose, or the end result its members are trying to achieve. Goals need to be challenging (but attainable) outcomes that team-members care about. They should be objectives that team members can feel energized and motivated to work towards.
Every good team functions under a set of rules, whether explicitly outlined or implied. For example, a team may create screening criteria, or set a cap on the number of new joiners it will allow at a given time. Team members may be expected to complete assigned tasks, and to treat other teammates respectfully.
You can’t do your best work if you don’t have access to the information you need, or when you’re working with ineffective tools and technologies. Positive reinforcement and effective training can go a long way to support high performance and inspire dedication.
Fostering community and a shared understanding is key. Team members must feel like they are each valued contributors working toward a common goal. A shared mindset encourages members to move past their differences and frustrations, and to see the big picture and end goal.
EVALUATING TEAM PERFORMANCE
Team effectiveness can be evaluated in many ways, but the authors suggest rating your team on the following three criteria: output, collaborative ability, and individual development. Are your team’s clients, customers, or stakeholders happy with your output? How well does your team work together? To what extent are team members learning and growing?
Winning teams make full use of the unique talents of each of their members to achieve synergistic ends. You don’t need a referee to make this call. Team for success and set your team up for a slam dunk!
Haas, M. & Mortensen, M. (2016). The Secrets of Great Work Teams. Harvard Business Review, 94(6), 71-76.
How Managers Can Become Leaders
It is easier said than done, but managers can become leaders. First, imagine you’re a newly appointed manager who has some decision making power and a few direct reports. Although your role as a manager brings with it formal authority, you don’t really feel like a leader yet. What can you do to be seen as more of a leader? What are the important qualities that transform a manager into a leader? Researchers (Chiu, Balkundi, & Weinberg, 2016) recently discovered the role of social networks in determining whether or not managers were perceived as leaders. (more…)
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Leadership and organizational culture are two very important parts of I-O Psychology. Yet, researchers are still discovering how the two concepts interact with each other to drive organizational performance. For example, are certain types of leaders more beneficial in certain organizational cultures? New research (Hartnell, Kinicki, Schurer Lambert, Fugate, & Doyle Corner, 2016) considers two different types of organizational culture and two different types of leadership behavior. The results show that CEO behavior can be more effective by tailoring it based on the type of organizational culture already in place.
How to Increase the Proportion of Women in Higher-Level Management Positions
How do we increase the proportion of women in higher-level management positions? One strategy organizations take involves implementing work-life practices. The theory is that giving women greater control over their work schedules and reducing the burden of family responsibilities will help women stay in the workforce and perform better, making them more likely to get promotions. In reality, do work-life practices actually help women reach higher levels of management? The researchers (Kalysh, Kulik & Perera, 2016) analyzed data over a twelve-year period from 675 organizations in Australia to find out.
How Can Leaders Effectively Manage Employees’ Negative Emotions?
Leaders often have to deal with employees’ negative emotions. Whether employees are feeling anxious about a project, feeling sad about being turned down for promotion, or feeling angry about being unfairly treated, leaders play a part in managing these emotions. New research (Little, Gooty, & Williams, 2016) has shown that how these emotions get handled can affect employees’ performance and how they feel about their jobs.
How Childhood Social Class Influences CEO Risk Taking
The American Dream symbolizes the opportunity for individuals from any social class or background to achieve occupational success via a “rags to riches” transformation. In fact, some of the most successful CEOs were born into very humble beginnings, including Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Ursula Burns (Xerox), and Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs).
Power Disparity on Teams: Now We Know When It Works
Power is what makes people obey even when they don’t want to, and power disparity on teams refers to a situation in which power is not evenly distributed among team members. Imagine a situation in which a powerful and experienced executive works with several junior associates on a project. This might be called high power disparity, because one person will have all of the power.
Can Leadership or Climate Influence Underreporting of Workplace Accidents?
Workplace accidents threaten the lives or well-being of employees, and if that’s not enough of a reason to prevent them, they are also very costly to organizations. Missed work time, potential lawsuits, and increases in health care costs are all among many reasons why accidents affect an organization’s bottom line. But if organizations want to reduce the likelihood of accidents, they need to be aware of their occurrences. Labor statistics vary, but all estimate that the majority of workplace accidents go unreported. New research (Probst, 2015) uncovers two factors that influence the degree to which accidents go unreported.
Transformational Leadership: Good for You and Good for Them
Transformational leadership is characterized by motivating, inspiring, and coaching employees to achieve change and innovation. As you can imagine, research has supported the benefits of this leadership style for the followers of such an inspirational leader. For example, research has found that followers of transformational leaders have greater job satisfaction and more creativity. But new research (Lanaj, Johnson, & Lee, 2015) has found that transformational leadership is also beneficial to the leader. How does that happen?
Narcissistic Leaders Can Use Humility to Succeed
Are narcissistic leaders good for business? Are they good for employees? It’s a difficult question to answer, especially considering that research has found mixed results. Narcissistic people may be bold risk-takers with supreme confidence and unshakeable vision. This sounds like the kind of person we’d want leading, right? On the other hand, they have personal grandiosity, a feeling of superiority, and the constant need for admiration. Well, maybe we don’t want this person in charge. Fortunately, new research (Owens, Wallace, & Waldman, 2015) helps us resolve this dilemma. They found that narcissism can be good for leadership, but only when it’s tempered with a healthy dose of humility.