People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45

Figure 1: The Rocket Model TM

6. Don't overdo it. The most successful organizations
recognize that teams are not the answer to all organizational
problems. In fact, over-relying on teamwork creates its own set
of problems: collaboration fatigue, wasted time, and diffused
responsibility. An example of misplaced emphasis on teamwork is the sales team that becomes overly enamored with
collaboration and team-building activities. When sales people
have individual quotas, separate territories, and are incented
by individual commissions, team-building efforts can be counterproductive because they detract from the individual efforts
necessary to achieve goals. Savvy organizations distinguish
between work that is best accomplished by individual efforts
and work that is best accomplished by team efforts.
Parting Advice

Teamwork has never been easy, but in recent years it has
become even more challenging. And the trends that make it
more difficult seem likely to continue, as teams become increasingly diverse and dispersed. Taking a systematic approach
to supporting teamwork in your organization can go a long
way toward helping teams succeed.

5. Measure it. Peter Drucker once wrote, "What gets mea-

sured gets managed." This applies to teamwork too. Without
feedback, teams don't know how they're doing or where they
need to improve. Organizations at the forefront of promoting teamwork use team surveys in addition to other talent
measurement tools, such as 360 reviews, personality inventories, EQ tests, and leadership style indicators. Benchmarked
surveys on validated models of team effectiveness can help
teams identify gaps that need to be addressed.
Consider the experience of a global professional services
company whose top 100 leaders and their teams completed
a benchmarked team survey. One senior leader commented,
"Before going through the team survey, I had a sense my
team wasn't hitting on all cylinders, but it was impossible to
pinpoint where we were going wrong. As a result of getting
feedback on the different aspects of team functioning, I was
better equipped to get the team on track. The team gained an
awareness of the extent of our problems and learned where
we should start."

Based on our work with organizations, teams, and leaders, we
offer the following advice:
* Consider the role of the organizational context and culture in promoting teamwork.
* Ensure the top team is high-functioning to avoid negative
trickle down.
* Provide a roadmap to provide helpful direction and guidance to teams.
* Treat team building as a core leadership skill, embedding
it into leadership development initiatives.
* Incorporate teamwork into competency models and other
talent management systems and practices.
* Provide benchmarked feedback to teams.
* Provide leaders with tools specifically designed to improve
team performance so they don't rely on "fun and games."
* Distinguish between work best done by individuals vs.
teams.
Dianne Nilsen, Ph.D., is managing partner at Curphy Leadership
Solutions. She has received awards for innovation, business process
improvement, and integrated talent management systems and is
the lead author of the Center for Creative Leadership's Executive
Dimensions. She can be reached at dnilsen@curphyleadershipsolutions.com.
Gordon J. Curphy, Ph.D., is managing partner at Curphy Leadership
Solutions. He has written 19 books on leadership and teams and is
coauthor of Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience (8th Ed.).
He can be reached at gcurphy@curphyleadershipsolutions.com.

References
1

Rob Cross, Reb Rebele, and Adam Grant. "Collaboration
Overload." Harvard Business Review (January-February
2016).
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2018

45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
The Rise of Digital Team Building
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 5
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Guest Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 7
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 9
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 10
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 11
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 12
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 13
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 14
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 15
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 17
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 18
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 19
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 21
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 23
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 24
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 25
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 26
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 27
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 28
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 29
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 31
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 34
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 35
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 37
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 38
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 39
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 40
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 41
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 43
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 47
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 48
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 49
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 50
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 51
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - The Rise of Digital Team Building
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 55
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 57
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 58
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 59
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 60
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 61
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - In First Person
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 63
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 65
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 67
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 68
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 69
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 71
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 73
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 74
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover4
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