Friday, September 14, 2012

Is There an "I" in Team?

A new book came out this July entitled, "There Is an I in Team: What Elite Athletes and Coaches Really Know About High Performance."

Written by Mark de Rond, a Professor at the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School, this book explores the opposite of the oft heard saying "there's no I in team" which is defined as individual achievement is not superior to the good/results of the team. In writing his book he used social and psychological research he gathered from high performance sports teams and individual athletes to support his hypothesis that you should harness the talent of individuals in creating a productive team.

I agree with his statement that there is an "I" in team, but so as not to be contentious, I will explain my thoughts and interpretation of the assertion. Each team must be able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses, in addition to the perceived weaknesses of the individuals within the team.

Each individual has a pattern of behavior when working with team members, and that pattern can be assessed by the team and its leaders to obtain the best effort from the individual.  This pattern can change depending upon the situation an individual finds themselves in, and in relation to the amount of stress or conflict that may ensue. I like a processing tool called The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) to analyze individual’s behavior during normal situations, and how they react during conflict.
The whole subject is fascinating and somewhat lengthy to explain but if you are interested in finding out more then go to the SDI web page or email me for more information on how SDI can be used help understand your team.

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