Chapter 13. Challenges for Building Effective Teams

In the preceding chapters, we have described what can be done to make teams more effective. We have placed a particular emphasis on the ability of teams to change (engage in team building), which we have described as a meta-competency that is crucial for changing team context, composition, or competencies when necessary to improve team performance. In this final chapter we summarize what we believe are the important issues for managers, team leaders, and consultants as they attempt to help teams they work with be more effective. We also will discuss the challenges that all of us will likely face in the future as organizations and their environments become more complex, while the need for teamwork remains high.

Implementing the Four Cs—The Key to Success

We have found that the key to the development of effective teams is successfully managing the Four Cs that we discussed in Part One. Leaders of organizations must be willing to create “team friendly” environments for teams to function effectively. This means that they must do the following:

  1. Identify the kinds of work activities for which teamwork is likely to prove essential to accomplish the task. Tasks that require reciprocal interdependence between team members typically need strong, well-functioning teams.

  2. Use the structure of the organization to reinforce team membership in accomplishing the organization’s goals. This means organizing tasks by teams when teamwork is necessary and ...

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