Most teams in the worlds of work, sports, or artistic performance comprise ongoing relationships among people who integrate their talents to produce something greater than any individual`s reach. They know one another`s ways of doing things. Team members anticipate much of what each other will bring to their activities. It allows them to be where the ball will be or where the next riff will take the improvisation. The team goes through cycles of recruiting new members, integrating them into the culture, and eventually following their lead in their work.
Dream teams operate with a different dynamic. A group of stars drawn from separate teams are brought together for a special even. The world looks to them to do something extraordinary.
A basketball team on the Olympics works with this structure with a diverse collection of players, coaches, and support staff from teams who usually compete with one another. Their challenge is to integrate their star power within a short time to perform in an exacting venue.
At a music festival, a group of instructors who usually inhabit diverse genres of music come together for a final performance that brings together their talents. They have a challenge audience that is made up primarily of musicians with an ear for recognizing the quality of the performance. It is an exacting venue in a different way.
Teams can build the capacity of their members to work across diverse settings, creating core elements of teamwork as the situation demands. The ability to work with new teams builds team resiliency.
• Refresh the Mix. Structuring opportunities for team members to work with different groups keeps them alert. When people become comfortable with the steady patterns of familiar colleagues, they may soften their focus. By occasionally assigning team members to other groups, a leader helps them to become more alert. The capacity to understand someone new is a valuable thing.
• Rotate the Lead. Stars can get into a rut when they always have the lead. Assigning leadership roles to other team members on specific projects not only builds the organization’s leadership potential, it deepens the stars’ understanding of team dynamics. They will be more able to thrive in a dream team.
• Stretch the Comfort Zone. While it is essential to focus and build a team’s core expertise, opportunities to stretch that focus keeps them on their toes.
What opportunities do you have to take a fresh view of your worklife?