Thinking As One

Yesterday, the Villagers TheaterPlayers concluded a three week run of the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It was a spectacular triumph for all, the cast, crew, orchestra and everyone else involved. A great team effort.

For decades, researchers have studied teams –teams in sports, teams in healthcare, teams in space exploration, teams in entertainment, teams in emergency response, teams in the military– and have tried to figure out what makes the most effective teams tick.

One of my favorite studies is the work by Larson and LaFasto where they identified eight characteristics of highly effective teams:
1 The team has a clear goal.
2 The team has a results-driven culture.
3 The team has capable team members.
4 The team has unified commitment.
5 The team has a supportive and collaborative climate.
6 The team has high standards of excellence.
7 The team has external support and encouragement.
8 The team has facilitative leadership.

In a recent team building class at a manufacturing company in New Jersey, a participant, one of the team leaders in Operations, made the point that effective teams “Think as one.” I believe that Larson and LaFasto might say that is “unified commitment.”

So I asked the class, How to do do that? How do you get people to think as one?

They said: A team must be on the same page. Care about one another. Have a common goal. Be fully committed.

That was certainly the case with the “Superstar” team at Villagers Theater.

It reminded me of what the great anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.”

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Monday November 21, 2011

Leave a Reply