A team is made up of a group of people who are connected together in a common purpose. Teams are normally developed to conduct particular tasks that are complex, and have many co-dependent subtasks. A group in itself does not automatically make up a team. Members make it up with complementary talents and generate synergy by a coordinated effort that allows each member to minimize their weakness and maximize their strengths. Team members are required to work together and help each other so that each member realizes their true potential. By doing so, they create an atmosphere that allows each member to exceed their limitations. Team’s size and a composition are known to have an effect on team processes and outcomes. The optimal composition and size of a team varies according to the task it handles. This paper will seek to discuss how groups can be developed into teams.
There are several strategies that an organization can employ in order to nature the conversion of groups into teams. First, the organization has to develop common goals and vision that its members should try to achieve. Unless a common vision and a goal are set for a given undertaking, and each member holds the one goal and vision of the shared destination, it would be very difficult to achieve the set targets as members will be confused and hobbled along the way (Jungalwalla 2000). Lacking a common direction, such a group will be divided into small fragments, thereby it will lose energy as the members move against each other as opposed to a team. To achieve a common goal and a vision, several tasks may be undertaken. Team members may record their perception of team’s common vision and goals; then the differing perceptions may be considered. This task will help present a simple evaluation of the extent to which the group shares common visions and goals. Passion is an important aspect for success. In developing common visions and goals, one may find out what visions and goals that are desirable for the organization the team members are passionate about (Jarod 2009). There should be a clear distinction between common and individual goals. Teams may share similar visions and goals, but may have different roles in a collaborative undertaking. Each member in the group should express their individual roles in ways that convey how that role contributes to the common visions and goals of the organization. When collaborative goals are set, benchmark and stretch goals have to be considered. Benchmark goals are said to be the minimum one can accept from themselves as professionals while stretch goals can be described as ‘reach for the stars’ goal, which should carry considerable uncertainty as to its practicability. This will ensure that a team keeps motivated, and endeavors for improvement even beyond perceived restrictions (Jungalwalla 2000).
Diversity of people in a group can be its greatest threat or asset; if a group is well harnessed, it can be a tool to develop a very good team and achieve high goals. The important factor here is the ability to appreciate diversity, to know its importance and to manage it. One can start by leading by example. If a leader is seen not to value diversity, the group members will not do it too, thereby developing a poor team. A team survey that draws attention to diverse work styles and roles within the team should be undertaken. A team map may be developed that shows which preferences and roles are well represented and which are not. The team could be then involved in giving strategic advice to themselves about further development of the team. Furthermore, team’s training and development schedules should incorporate topics based on understanding and management of diversity (Jungalwalla 2000).
Effective communication is paramount in development of groups into teams. Strategies that enhance active listening and engagement of the audience in meetings may be used to foster good communication (Hardcastle 2006).
In conclusion, many factors may determine how a group develops into a team. Common visions and goals, ability to harness diversity and effective communication are important aspects in development of a group into a team.