“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”

― Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

Our blog covers teams, the groups of people, and Microsoft Teams, the app, and so it’s appropriate that we begin with this question: What’s the difference between a group of people and a team?

A group of people is a collection of individuals; a team is a group of people formed to achieve a specific purpose or goal.

Some observations:

  1. Teams are formed when an individual is incapable of achieving the stated purpose singlehandedly.
  2. Team members are added as needed and chosen for their skills and talents (hopefully), to perform a specific role in the team.
  3. New team members, on joining, accept that they must
    • understand, share and believe in the team’s purpose, and…
    • accept, happily, that the team’s best interests rise above their own; that they may be called upon to make sacrifices to help the team achieve its purpose.
  4. Point (3) only works when every team member believes that all other members of the team share this same belief. Without total trust among team members, there is no teamwork.

To be successful, then, teams should have the following:

  1. Leaders able to articulate their team’s purpose clearly. Capable of forming a vivid picture in each member’s head of the team’s mission and the rewards they will reap when they accomplish it.
  2. A belief that the goal be achievable, which implies that the leader be perceived as skillful enough to steer the team towards its goal, avoiding pitfalls and seizing opportunities as they appear.
  3. Total trust in the capabilities and commitment of other team members. A willingness to leave a critical task in the hands of the team member assigned to the task, knowing it’s in safe hands, thus freeing up their own time to focus on their own tasks.
  4. The resources needed to accomplish the task – the physical assets (computers, communications gear, suitable working conditions, etc.), and the needed skills and talents to perform the tasks involved in getting there.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? And sure, it isn’t rocket science. But in my experience, combining all 4 of these requirements in one team is never straightforward because teams are comprised of individuals. Each member with his or her own personality, character traits, and skills and yet willing to sacrifice their own needs for the good of the team. Something that talented people are not usually willing to do. And, of course, they do all need to be able to work together without anger, jealousy or pride, and perhaps most importantly, to enjoy doing so!

It comes down to getting two things right: the right leader and team members, and a passionate belief in the outcome.

More to come on teams and Microsoft Teams in the posts ahead. We hope you enjoyed this one – please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

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