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The Psychology of Quality and More

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Teams

A team is a group of people with some commonality of work objectives. That is, they need to collaborate to some degree. They may be doing similar tasks or sharing the same resources, but the work doesn't really matter: what does matter is that they need to get on with one another.

Humans are a tribal species and when they get together they form tribes and fall into various roles (leader, ideas-person, tools expert, etc.) and there are many ways of categorizing these divisions (eg. the Belbin team roles).

When teams get together, they go through a process of sorting out the roles. The main stages are:

  • Form - coming together.

  • Storm - sorting out roles.

  • Norm - finding how they can effectively work together.

  • Perform - successfully working together.

Occasionally, teams are extremely successful and have incredible team spirit. Such teams have been found to have two characteristics:

  1. They set themselves stretch targets that are often viewed by other people as being impossible.

  2. They care personally for one another. For example if one becomes ill others will take the kids to school, do the shopping, etc.

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