It's reasonable to expect teams to collaborate. Human nature however leads people to manage their own "slice of the pie". Management needs to take a hard look at the real message being conveyed across the organization about getting things done. The question can be boiled down to: Is success measured by realized strategic outcomes or is it about not being singled out as the reason for failure? Too often, senior management assumes that groups are working toward a common goal while at the tactical level, sub-groups or departments are playing hot potato with their unique tasks. Being accountable is often about not getting caught holding up the larger project versus being collectively accountable to the overall success.
What are the symptoms that point to issues of team performance? Consider these ten behaviors and attitudes:
- Low output and productivity
- Frequent complaints within the team
- Internal confusion about roles
- Ineffective meetings
- Lack of clear goals or low commitment to goals
- Problems working with the team leader
- People do not speak up and contribute ideas
- Decisions are made that people do not understand or support
- The team does not appear to have good working relationships with other teams
- People feel that good work is not recognized or teamwork is not valued
If you believe half of these behaviors are present in your group, it's probably worth taking a look at what can be done to proactively turns things around. Much of the work of building team is about having greater transparency and dialogue around the issues described above. Finding ways to talk about it goes a long way in addressing the problems.