The characteristics of complex teams are the same as for destroying collaboration: large, virtual, diverse, and specialised. For example collaboration diminishes when team size grows. Especially team that are assigned “Complex Collaboration Tasks” need the right environment to collaborate effectively. In the HBR article “Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams” Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson tell us 8 practices that can help.
How to build the right team for a “Complex Collaboration Task”
How to maximize effectiveness of a team while minimizing the disadvantages?
These 8 Practices can help
… freely quoted:
- Invest in building and maintaining social relationships throughout your organization:
Executives can encourage collaborative behavior by making highly visible investments
- Model collaborative behavior:
senior executives demonstrate highly collaborative behavior themselves
- Creating a“gift” culture:
Use coaching and mentoring to reinforce a collaborative culture
- Train employees in the specific skills required for collaboration:
– appreciating others,
– engaging in purposeful conversation,
– productively and creatively resolving conflicts
– managing programs
- Support a sense of community:
– Sponsoring events and activities such as networking groups, cooking weekends, or tennis coaching.
– Spontaneous, unannounced activities can further foster community spirit.
- Building on heritage relationships:
Ensure that at least 20% – 40% of a new team’s members already know one another.
- Assigning team leaders that are both task-and relationship-oriented: Change yourleadershipstyleas your team develops. At early stages in the project, be task-oriented: articulate the team’s goal and accountabili- ties. As inevitable conflicts start emerging, switch to relationship building.
- Understanding role clarity and task ambiguity:
Assign distinct roles so team members can do their work independently. They’ll spend less time negotiating responsibilities or protecting turf. But leave the path to achieving the team’s goal somewhat ambiguous. Lacking well-defined tasks, members are more likely to invest time and energy collaborating.