A recent email... "I am writing a report on teambuilding to the top management of my organization. The managers want to know how many companies have got the benefits from teambuilding, especially, the famous ones."
Is this an amazing question or what?!
I'm trying to imagine a group of top managers in a company sitting around a table saying "Do you think we would be a better company of we invested in building a better team?"
It's hard to believe managers would actually sit around wondering if high performing teams (i.e. teams that generate more profits with greater speed and ease) are more or less valuable than a group of people who argue, don't share (resources, ideas, etc.) and generally operate from "lack mentality" (win-lose or lose-lose thinking).
This is like asking a fish to do research about the value of gills. (To discover the value of gills, simply remove gills from a sample of fish and see what happens)
And what about the "...especially , the famous ones" part of the above question? Do the managers assume that famous teams (famous organizations) have some kind of inside knowledge about the value of teambuilding? Enron was a famous team. United Airlines is famous (about to go bankrupt though). I'm reminded of the kid in high school who cheats by looking on the paper of the kid next to him - - the assumption being that kid is a reliable source of information.
Thomas L. Friedman wrote a book published in 2005 entitled "The World Is Flat". Friedman describes how, through technological advances and the lowering of trade and politcal barriers, how it's now possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet. What does this mean for organizations? The short answer is you better find every conceivable advantage or someone somewhere is going to take your business right out from under your feet. Your organization better be investing in creating high performing teams because someone somewhere is investing in teaching their group team skills right now (while you sit and wonder if it's a good investment).
It used to be an organization could "buy" their competitive edge (i.e. purchasing the latest and greatest computer, phone system, pda, fax machine, etc.). Now technology is so cheap it alone can't provide the edge. Developing people is the last frontier - - and as far as this blog is concerned it's about training people to work as a high performing team. It's HOW you get your people to work together that will produce the greatest competitive edge.