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  Teamwork and Team Building - An Art Worth Learning 

Most of the dysfunctional organizations where we have found it practically impossible to establish the Lean Manufacturing Culture have something in common. They do not have the vital Teamwork spirit... Beginning from the Top! 

Not Always a Group is a Team

It is a common mistake to believe that any group of people who go everyday to work in the same place are a team. It takes much more than that and here is where Leadership may be a great help. People working together need to be motivated and get to understand the basics of cooperation and mutual benefit. They will become more efficient and their achievements more valuable if they all have a common goal and each of their individual actions is focused into the accomplishment of that common goal. In some cases they will have to momentarily put aside their personal objectives and it is only possible if they all understand and perceive that by contributing to the success of their team they will get a personal profit or benefit.

What is Team Work or Teamwork?

It is the Synergy required to embark into the great goals, to succeed when facing the big challenges. The joint purpose to achieve certain successes that are not possible for just one individual. It is the concerted effort to help each other to complement our strengths and defeat our weaknesses. Teams are comprised of members who share the responsibility, the effort, and the pride. The main obstacle teams face is the Ego embedded in our "Human Nature", the tendency to believe that we are the "one and only", and our firm conviction that others may need our help but we don't need others' help and support. 

Indeed many people have great capabilities and achieve more than the average, still there are important tasks that no individual can succeed at by itself. That is when Teamwork comes handy.

How can we Build a Successful Team?

Successful Teams are uncommon and require True Leaders often called Team Builders. Some of them may not be spectacular achievers by themselves, may not be high rated experts in the subject pursued by the team, but have a valuable skill: They Know People! Henry Ford once said: "My success has been that I am smart and humble enough as to hire people who are more skilled than I am."  Most politicians succeed or fail in direct proportion to their ability to build an effective team around them. The secret is to acknowledge each individual for their skills and positive features and minimize their weaknesses, since we also have some of our own.

What are the Barriers to Team Building? 

Arrogance jumps in the first place here. Confucius is quoted as saying: "Every human being is superior to you at something." If we acknowledge this, it will be easier to accept the need to build a team around us when tasks are really important, if not overwhelming.

The Good News...

The good news is: We all can purposely become Good Team Builders, just as we all can learn the ropes to be good motivators. The first step in this process will be to know our people, what are their concerns and main motivators. For some it will be family issues, for others money, some more will be astray in their objectives. Something that Team Participation will provide for all is Job Security. Job Security is a Universal problem solver, so a Team Leader or Team Builder should focus on that particular accomplishment when talking to the team. For those members who really don't have a clear purpose, security itself can become the magnet to bring them together and support the team objectives.

Citing Henry Ford again:       

“Coming together is a beginning. 

Keeping together is Progress  

Working together is Success"

It is the Mission of the Team Member to assure that each other member become aware of the common purpose and their personal benefit from contributing their effort.


Also we recommend that you read:

SWOTT an Exercise That Can Change The Future of Your Business and Your Life!

Contact us with your comments, we will answer them all... 


If you find all this free information useful, just imagine how much your operation will improve when we can work together one on one!

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Enrique Mora
Lean Management Training
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This page last updated on

30 July, 2011 10:15









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