Team is a noun… Teaming is a verb. Teaming is teamwork on the fly.
-Management expert Amy Edmundson
Amy Edmundson who is expert on team building feels that concept of team as it is understood now will not survive in future.
Current concept of team is- a team is an established, fixed group of people cooperating in pursuit of a common goal. This concept shows that team is a static concept, consisting of fixed team members ex. cricket team, who are assigned a task, they come to know each other, set norms and execute the task.
Teaming is dynamic activity. There is no fixed structure; here learning and execution occur simultaneously. When need is there ex. medical emergency or film making, individuals with relevant skills will come together, knowing each other, gaining knowledge and execution will happen at the same time.
Teaming requires us to get better at learning how to quickly relate to people we don’t know; learning how to trust them, learning how to share our knowledge, extract their knowledge, synthesize it, even though we come from very different backgrounds, different expertise areas etc.
In recent case of releasing nurses from Kerala who get kidnapped in Iraq, for the rescue team that was set up, there wasn’t much time to know each other. The rescue team got help from businessmen from Kerala, contacts from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other Gulf nations. This was good example of teaming where individuals kept getting added as and when their skills were required and once task was over, the team will get disbanded.
For such teaming to thrive the organisational culture must promote of curiosity, passion and empathy.
Curiosity drives people to find out what others know, what they bring to the table, what they can add. Passion fuels enthusiasm and effort. It makes people care enough to stretch, to go all out. Empathy is the ability to see another’s perspective, which is absolutely critical to effective collaboration under pressure.
People good at teaming have talent for reaching out, getting up to speed, establishing quickly who they are and what they bring, and trying to make progress without a blueprint. These things are natural to extroverts, so will have an advantage over introverts. But Ms. Edmundson feels even introverts can learn these skills.
“I think these are skills that anyone can learn. I think extroverts are more at home with these skills but introverts can learn to do them, and kind of fake it until they get good at it and ultimately, I think that the difference is that introverts have to then recover. They need some downtime to think and process whereas the extroverts are processing while they’re doing the teaming.”
– Amy Edmundson