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Team or Working Group?

By March 20, 2014EOS, Kolbe

Something that is surprisingly difficult in business is having a true functioning team. In his book, “The Advantage”, Patrick Lencioni articulates 4 disciplines necessary to achieve organizational health. Discipline 1 is to build a cohesive leadership team. He poses the question of whether a group of leaders is a “Team” or a “Working Group”?

You may ask, What is the difference?

  • A “Team” is like a basketball team. It is a group of people that, “play together simultaneously, in an interactive, mutually dependent, and often interchangeable way.”
  • A “Working Group” is like a golf team where players go off and play on their own and get together and add up their scores at the end of the day.”

As I work with companies that commit to making the journey to implement EOS and become strong in the six components (Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, & Traction) of EOS, I see teams develop in two ways:

  1. If there is a true team in place, I see it become stronger.
  2. If the team is really a working group, I see it become a team.

The tools in EOS help teams build trust, eliminate politics, and increase efficiency because they :

  1. Help build trust and appreciate each team member strengths and weaknesses,through the use of “trust builder” tools
  2. Teach teams how to openly engage in conflict for the greater good of the organization as they Identify, Discuss and Solve issues
  3. Provide a methodology to hold one another accountable to their Rocks, To-dos, Core Values, and Roles related to their fuction

Does your team appreciate each other, openly engage in constructive conflict and hold each other accountable?

If not, you might have a working group.