Building Teams

Should You Convert To A Team Structure?

With all the hype about building teams, it seems like a team structure within an organization is the way to go for ALL organizations. But should your organization convert to a team structure?

Not necessarily. Traditional structures with different department serving different functions have been effective in the past and present for a key reason: it works.

Team structures, however, are extremely useful in certain organizations and situations that are facing unusual circumstances or challenges. The mixture of a team’s personalities, strength and abilities may be what is required to face the challenges.

So how do you know if you should convert your organization into a team based structure? Here are some basic checklists:

You should convert to teams if:

  • Your organization needs a new approach to the challenges it is currently facing. The old approach does not work anymore and you need a diversity of views about how your organization can change its approach.
  • Within the traditional work group which are classified by departments, there is a lot of conflict due to miscommunication and arguments. Putting a key representative from each department to work in a group to achieve a corporate goal may help bridge the divide.
  • The project requires people with different disciplines, backgrounds and abilities. The diversity of the individuals will add synergy and enhanced value to the project.
  • The top management is committed to see change within the organization in this direction. Putting in task force with a diverse and committed team will push the organization in the proper direction.

On the other hand, you should not convert if:

  • When the nature of the work in your organization is routine and do not need team support. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
  • Sometimes, top management is against the idea of teams because they believe it to be counter-productive. In such a case, it is unlikely that any team will be used to their fullest potential.
  • When there is high turnover in the company; for a team to be truly effective, it takes time for teams to develop unity and good dynamics and if there are a lot of people leaving the company, then the teams formed cannot be stable.

Of course, changing a whole organizational structure from traditional to teams is a big project and is something that should not be taken lightly. If you believe that changing to a team structure is optimal for your business, please contact professional consultants for advice and guidance.

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