Team Building: EGO – or I Go
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’.- Friedrich Nietzsche
Is team building an art or a science?
When it comes to assembling, motivating and keeping a great team happy so that they can flourish in your business, the truth is that it’s a bit of both.
It cannot be understated how important a great team is to a business’ success. The quality of the work you do will never exceed the quality of the team behind it. To many entrepreneur’s and manager’s dismay, team building often seems as complicated as watchmaking—there are a lot of moving parts, and things have to be just right in order to create something magical.
Fortunately, academic research on team culture and group dynamics sheds some much needed light on creating and motivating the perfect team.
Today we will look at 10 of the best studies available, and break down what’s important to look out for and what practical things you can do to ensure your team is set up for success.
1. Team-Building Exercises Can Work
Building a great team and actual “team building” exercises are often viewed in very different lights.
Team building is one of those business topics that will evoke a few eye rolls. The first thing that comes to mind for many are those superficial activities that force people together into some sort of awkward scenario, with all of the participants hating the process and wishing it would end.
Team building shouldn’t have this sort of reputation.
The Small Group Research journal paper “Does Team Building Work?” analyzed data from 103 studies conducted between 1950 and 2007. This cumulative research provides the strongest scientific evidence to date that team building can have measurable, positive effects on team performance.
As you’ll soon see, the “secret” in making team building work is to keep things normal, and to avoid situations that feel invasive, awkward, or forced. Do NOT assemble your team and ask everyone to share their greatest fear—a huge majority of the people involved won’t appreciate this forced mix of their work life and personal feelings.
What far more practical things should you do instead?