Team Dynamics - Frank LaFasto
Frank LaFasto was Senior Vice President of Organisational Effectiveness with Cardinal Health, Inc. He is internationally recognised as a lecturer on management issues and has authored several books, including 'When Teams Work Best; 6,000 Team Members and Leaders Tell What It Takes to Succeed'.
LaFasto identifies five dynamics which are fundemental to team success and which must be considered from the point at which the team is first assembled.
The Team Member (Individual)
Successful teams are made up of effective individuals. These will be suited to their specific role through relevant experience, the ability to solve problems, openness to addressing problems and they must be action oriented.
For a team to be successful the members of the team must be able to give and receive feedback. There must be such a culture within the broader organisation, the specific team must have time and space in which to do this and there must be a degree of trust between the individuals within the team.
Team Problem Solving
A successful team will have absolute clarity on their purpose and how this fits into the broader goals of the organisation. The degree to which a team is clear on its goal and able to focus on achieving it is critical. This should be combined with a relaxed, comfortable and accepting environment and open and honest communication.
Leadership competency is critical to a successful team. A competent leader is focused on the goal, encourages a collaborative climate, builds the confidence of individual team members, sets priorities and demonstrates sufficient knowledge themselves. Effective managers use feedback to improve the performance of individuals and the team.
No team will stand alone within the wider environment unless the culture of that environment matches the team's. The climate and culture of the organisation must be conducive to and encouraging of positive team and individual behaviour.