The changing workplace and the strains that are inherent in organizations as a result of the increased responsibilities and little time make work stressful. Organizational life becomes unbearable if individuals have to work independently to accomplish organizational goals. This, coupled with the increasing competition as a result of the globalized world makes it difficult for organizations to work basing on the efforts of a single individual. Work has to be completed on time and reports have to be made that define the direction of the organization. Individual effort and thinking is not so productive in this scenario necessitating the formation of groups or teams. Workplace teams have made life easy for organizations with many of them now opting to use teams to carry out most of their tasks. The advantages that teams bring to the organization cannot be overemphasized. Those organizations that are still not using teams will always be left behind in this competitive environment. The idea behind team formation is that it increases productivity and makes it easy for work to be done faster due to the contributions that are made by many people. Innovativeness and creativity in groups is high and thus people are able to share ideas that will eventually lead to a solution to a given organizational problem. However not all people work well in groups or teams and this has also been another issue when dealing with teams. Some people prefer autonomy in order to work better. On the other hand it is also good to note that as much as these teams help organizations achieve results, team formation and development is a difficult phenomenon and one that is faced with a myriad of problems. The way these are solved determines that effectiveness of the group.
Like all other things the starting place for all teams is team formation and this marked the beginning of my experience in working with groups. Team formation is not an easy concept because you have to consider various factors. I was given that chance to form a group and I must admit that this was the most challenging task of all. I was required to form a group that took in diversity issues and this meant that I had to come up with a group of people who are from different cultures. Gathering the five member team was not easy and when we all got together people were calm and composed and no one wanted to talk with people trying to familiarize themselves with each other. I saw this as an exact replica of Tuckman’s first stage of group formation where members actually try to know each other and to develop rapport. Most people are very cautious at this stage of group formation and each one is on the lookout for guidance on how to proceed (Singh, 2009). A look at the group’s member composition, I was afraid that it was going to be difficult to work with this group because of the cultural differences that were already evident and this meant that the possibilities of conflicts were high (Cole, 2001). A lot had to be done in order to keep the group aligned towards the achievement of the intended objectives. A quick psychometric analysis confirmed what I had previously been thinking that all of us had different thinking and perceptions. The Meyers Briggs Type indicator test helped me confirm this and I found out that one member was a thoughtful realist; two members were action-oriented innovators and another member and action oriented realist while myself I scored as a thoughtful realist. This was not a bad combination and the diversity that was present in the group in terms of perception and decision making was a good thing though scholars such as Garcia-Prieto (2003) and Afolabi (2005) argue that issues of diversity in groups as much as they increase creativity and variety of ideas, conflicts usually arise that may not be easy to solve which could spell the end of the group if not properly managed.
- Quote paper
- Angela Moore (Author), 2011, Effective team and performance management. Groupwork, reflection, learning, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/270024