Creating and Managing Effective Teams
Managing a team of people can be tricky, but it can be even harder when those people come from different areas in the workplace - Creating and Managing Effective Teams introduction. Not knowing a fellow team member can put a strain on the ability to work together, but with the proper training, and management skills, any team can accomplish the goals set for them. For this exercise I was asked to select a team of people to search for innovative ideas that would put the automaker on the leading edge .
I selected Petra Diodorus as the Assessor- Advisor, Amrita Choudhury as the Creator, Marcell Collins as the Controller-Organizer, John Marsh as the Promoter- Maintainer, and Maria de Grassa as the Linker- Producer. I chose Petra as the Assessor-Advisor for her good communication skills and her ability to relay complex information in an understandable manner. I feel that she would be good for this position because she would be able to communicate information between the management, and the teams.
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I put Amrita in the position of creator, hoping to obtain some of the creativity she used working for Ferrari, creating the best sellers that she is hailed for. I chose Marcell for his position because of his management skills, and his ability to keep the team focused and heading in the right direction. I used John in the position of Promoter-Maintainer because I thought his product development management skills would help keep the team grounded. Maria was chose for the Linker-Producer because of her experience in the auto industries, and as the companies HR department head.
The selection I made was not the ideal selection according to Sarah. She thought that John would have been better positioned at the Assessor-Advisor position, she had Janice in the Promoter-Maintainer position, and Petra in the Linker-Producer position. Even though my decision was not exactly aligned with hers, I think my decision is a good one, and will also be a good decision for the company. The factors I considered in order to manage my team effectively making sure everyone had skill that they could use to help the team as a whole, and the ability to stay company minded, and goal oriented.
I feel that the team I picked will do great job if they are properly motivated, and are rewarded for their efforts. “Many studies on goal setting show that specific hard goals and feedback improve performance and finally job satisfaction, if performance is rewarded adequately” (Antoni, 2005). If I set the team goals high, give them constructive feedback during the process, and reward them for not only their efforts, but also their accomplishments, I feel the team will strive to do the best job possible.
I also feel that I would consider how the team feels about each other, and how they work together as a team. I would have to address any problems that would arise with the team, and make sure everyone worked together as one. I had to address the problem of my Assessor-Advisor, Petra, not trusting the other team members to meet their deadlines, and get their work in promptly. The team feels that she was being nitpicky, and distrustful of their abilities to work efficiently. I addressed this issue by modeling a climate of trust.
I attended the next team meeting, expressed my trust in the ability of all the team members to do their work efficiently, and in a timely manner. After the meeting I called Petra aside and eased her concern by letting her know that if I trust them to do their job, she could also. This would relieve her fears of the others incompetence, and free the team from her nitpicking and distrust. This allowed everyone to get back to work, and focus on the main agenda, and the goals set for them by the company.
The next problem I had to address was when the team felt that Amrita was trying to force her ideas onto everyone else. Before being appointed to the team, she had been designing her own ideas for a line of automobiles, now at every meeting she is trying to push those ideas onto the other team members, instead of seeking out innovating ideas, like they were tasked to do in the beginning. The team has used a few of her ideas, but they know for the team to succeed, they will have to probe deep into the auto making industry to find the best ideas possible.
I would address the issue as a team, let her know that we appreciate her ideas, and that she will get recognition for those ideas we use, but let her know that we still need move forward with the program. Giving Amrita the recognition she is seeking as a reward would make her feel as if she did help the team, while also giving her exposure in the design field. Once the group was back on track, the next roadblock to hit the team was groupthink. They had started to rule out ideas that might have been just a little risky, but could have put them on the leading edge of the industry.
Trying to inspire them to start thinking as individuals again, and get their creativity flowing again I decided to use a Devil’s advocate session. I told the team that they should take away questions and concerns from this meeting, but that it is not an attack on the team, it is just a way to get them thinking creatively again. I also remind the team that their purpose is to design an automobile line with the best design features around, and that they should focus on this by appointing a team member to be a permanent Devil’s Advocate to keep them inspired.
I noticed that performance started to fall once again when I reviewed the synopsis of their findings last month. They have listed many practices that are currently being used, and although these practices are great, they are not innovative. I let the team know we are looking for something no other luxury car maker has, something that will give our company an edge. I feel that some team members are not living up to their potential, so I have them attend a training seminar at a nice resort. As a reward for attending the training, the team was treated to the resorts amenities and services.
This helped create confidence to use creative thought and overcome fears to be able to deliver the ideas needed to achieve the results the company is looking for. Overall my team was effective, and achieved the goals set for them by the company. I feel that I set the goals high enough to be challenging for the team, and kept them focused enough to obtain those goals set. “At group level, higher group goals lead to higher group effort, direct group behaviour towards group goals, influence the kind of planning, co-operation and communication in the group (Weldon and Weingart, 1993) ” (Antoni, 2005).
I feel it was this influence that kept the team focused and goal oriented. The board was so pleased with the team’s findings that they are rewarding the team with an all expensed paid vacation to Hawaii. After running the assimilation again, I chose the same team that Sarah picked, and claimed to be the best team for the job, only to find out that John and Amrita have worked together in the past and do not get along. I enroll them in negotiation classes so they can learn how to keep their conflict productive to the team.
Once again Amrita is pushing her ideas on the team, so I use recognition as a reward to relieve the problem. When groupthink strikes I used the Devil’s Advocate seminar again to get everyone focused on the goals set for the team, and suggest using a team member as a permanent Devil’s Advocate to keep the team focused and thinking individually. To keep the team focused on the goals of being innovated, I again used training at a resort, and the used of the resort as a reward, to keep their ideas fresh and innovative. The end result was the same also, nding with the team receiving an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii. It seems that I made the correct decisions for the problems that arose, with either team I chose. I learned that no matter whom you have on the team, or what position they are put in, as long as you listen to the team members, and deal with the problems fairly, the outcome will be positive, the issues will be resolved, and the team can, and will meet the goals set forth by the manager and the company. The first contextual factor that was important in this assimilation was climate of trust.
Petra’s nitpicking the other workers made them feel untrusted, which upset them. Once I showed the team that I fully trusted all of the to do the job asked of them, and let Petra know that if I trusted them she could also, then it eased her fears, and let the team continue working together. Then next contextual factor would be member flexibility. Having employees from different areas within a company, come together to work as a team toward a goal is not an easy task. Having an employee that is flexible and able to adapt to any situation is a good thing, and being able to recognize them is even better.
The third contextual factor would be task identity, when the team came up with great ideas that were in use already, they were not working toward the task that was appointed to them. Their task was to come up with new ideas that would give the company and edge over other luxury auto makers. The last contextual factor would be team efficacy, keeping the team goal oriented, working together for the good of the company and the goals gave to them, by reward, recognition, and training, the team pulled together and got the job done.
In conclusion I have found that no matter who you have working on a team, if they have the right skills, and are given recognition for a job well done, given an occasional reward, and offered the right training, those people will come together and attain the goals set for them by the company and their managers.
Antoni, C. (2005). Management by objectives-an effective tool for teamwork?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, (), 174-184. Retrieved from http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? hid=20&sid=b7218035-b897-46ba-bc73-89db5421358a%40sessionmgr14&vid=3