Why Do Teams Fail?
There have been many efforts toward developing teams that have failed at the start. Why does this happen? Why do some teams succeed and many other efforts toward team development do not make it out of the starting gate?
1. No Vision!
First, the concept of “vision” must be defined. Simply stated a vision for a team is “a vivid mental image produced by the imagination.” A vision sees the future, possibilities, and future successes. If a team does not have a vision, the possibilities for failure are great. The entire team must produce the casting of a vision. There will always be those who lead the way. However, all members of the team must be included in the vision casting process.
2. Failure to Be Personally Responsible
Teams can never hope to succeed if one person on the team refuses to play their part. The success of any team is dependent upon the involvement of everyone on the team. The skills of the many are what make a great and productive team.
3. Conflict Between Personalities
Every person is different! That is not a big surprise. The uniqueness of individuals can create an excellent environment of teamwork. This creation can also cause conflict on the grandest of scales.
One of the great challenges of teams and teamwork is to recognize that we are all different, but these differences can produce great power when combined. Conflicts will take place but if handled in the proper fashion these same conflicts can build a strong team of complimentary personalities.
4. Power Struggles
Who is in charge here? This simple question is one that just about every organization asks. The idea of shared responsibility is not an easy concept for some people. There are those personalities that are very aggressive and those that are passive or somewhat shy. One of the greatest challenges for any team is to work on bringing out the talents and gifts of the entire group.
The failure of most teams is the result of one or two people leading the way and leaving very gifted people behind. Those left behind may not say anything about this action, but they will soon become inactive, and the team will reduce to one or two strong personalities.
5. No Clear Identity
Who are we? Does the team have a clear understanding of its purpose and direction? Every good sports team has a name and playbook. A good team will be able to identify itself to others outside of the team by the title or name they carry. A healthy team will also know the “playbook.” The direction, focus, and goals must be stated. It is best to write these things down and for every team member to be able to identify their purpose and direction in less than a paragraph. Two sentences would be best. A team without a clear identity will never succeed.
6. No Coaching
Every good team has a good coach. The coach is not a member of the team.
The coach is an outsider who can give direction, insight, and wisdom for the team. A coach will give the team an edge for great development. The insights and “wisdom” of someone that is not on the team can give the team the benefit of hearing from an observer. This action calls for team members to put egos aside and embrace a willingness to receive healthy and productive criticism.