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Introduction

Introduction

This book is a practical, hands-on guide about teamwork in business—not how to form teams or how to delegate to teams, but how to facilitate organized teams as they solve complex and challenging problems and as they develop innovative ways to enhance productivity.

As sports coaches and knowledgeable sports enthusiasts are well aware, a successful team is one that accomplishes more than the sum of the team members’ individual contributions. Championship teams focus on team objectives of winning; individual performances are only secondary considerations. Like sports organizations, increasingly businesses too are realizing the benefits of a team-oriented approach to accomplishing more. However, many businesses find the transition difficult—even painful—as performance evaluation systems, incentives, rewards, job descriptions and managerial styles are often still rooted in a perspective that recognizes the individual, but not the team. Consequently, it is possible to assemble a group of individuals with no guarantee that they will ever work together effectively as a team.

For supervisors, managers and executives sincerely committed to the process of transforming groups of employees into unified work teams, this book offers help. Useful concepts and tools are discussed throughout the book, with several quizzes and exercises interwoven to check for understanding and to develop valuable skills.

Thoughtful consideration of the ideas, concepts, and tools addressed in this book, coupled with a dedicated effort to answer the quiz questions and complete the exercises, should prepare any reader to be a more effective facilitator— which, in turn, will help to make teamwork a reality in any organization.

Donald Hackett & Charles L.Martin

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