It’s a pretty well-known fact now: being smart about building a team is essential to running a successful company. Ernst & Young conducted a survey that explored this issue, and unearthed some important revelations.
Today’s complex business problems call for teamwork.
In the EY survey, an overwhelming majority of the respondents agreed that their problems were so complex they couldn’t be solved by any one person. Effective solutions called for the efforts of entire teams.
A total of 821 business executives were surveyed, and the one thing they most clearly agreed upon was the essential role of teamwork in their success. They used teams to deal with the issues confronting them both in the day-to-day and the long run.
Almost 90% of them agreed on that one point.
How to avoid building a team the wrong way.
The EY survey makes it clear: superior performance requires an advanced, modern approach to teamwork. This modern-day concept of teamwork involves being able to tap into ALL the skills of EVERY team member. Companies who tap into everything their employees have to offer will realize greater success at every level. On the other hand, pigeon-holing team members into established, tired-out roles based on job titles will curtail all efforts towards extracting maximum effectiveness.
So what’s a team builder to do?
For starters, anyone building a team can avoid these common pitfalls:
- choosing just the “smartest” people
- choosing people just like yourself
- choosing people based purely on their functional skills
None of these team-building techniques work, according to research. Rather, it’s personalities that matter, not hard skills.
Supporting this, the EY survey found a correlation between diversity and corporate performance. The survey found that companies who self-reported being good at diverse teams had, on the whole, higher growth rates. Surprisingly, the survey also found a direct connection between geographical diversity and high growth rates.
The meaning of diversity in teamwork.
Skin color, gender, and age are one type of diversity, but that’s not what’s at hand here. The kind of diversity Ernst & Young is talking about is a diversity of experience, behavior, and personality.
This type of diversity leads to more creativity, which in turn leads to superior problem solving. The reverse is true when everyone on the team thinks the same way.
To achieve diversity, you must first know about personality styles and how they affect behavior. Understanding how personality styles determine behavior and communication means you’ll be able to cherry-pick the right team members for a diverse, effective mix of expertise. You’ll end up building a team that gives you a broader perspective on things, plus a richer set of assets when it comes to problem-solving.