What constitutes a team?
20 people cannot be a team.
I was watching the news in the UK about the new Conservative Government’s Cabinet “team”. This consists of more than 20 people regularly gathering around an old fashioned boardroom table, with the important people of course, close to the middle.
Anyone who has attended a meeting or conference call of 20 people knows that this is not really teamwork, it becomes a series of monologues or discussion of topics of limited interest to most others around the table. They are enormously wasteful, yet still we refer to these as teams.
A team is a small, tightly interdependent collection of people working on a collaborative goal. Think 3-6 people ideally. If you were really going to have a tightly interdependent team of 20 people you would create 190 different potential interconnections to be managed. If everyone needed to talk and be heard on each topic, every meeting would be interminable.
In reality these are what we call “star groups”, not teams they are about coordinating the efforts of distinctly different departments – not true collaboration.
For a lot of “broadcast” topics which are largely about information giving and/or knowledge sharing; a physical meeting is a wasteful way to get things done, technology gives us many ways to broadcast or make information available.
Face to face meetings should be small and focused around collaborative goals that cannot be done individually.
Here is a tip, at your next meeting, make a list of all the agenda items on the vertical axis of a table and the names of participants on the horizontal. Each time someone talks make a mark in the relevant box. At the end of the meeting look at the patterns – you will find several topics where only a small number of people contribute – these topics should probably be discussed by a sub-team as they are not of interest to most.
You will also find that there are some individuals who rarely or never contribute, you should consider whether there is something that is inhibiting them from making necessary inputs or, if they don’t have any, they should probably not be at the meeting.
Alternatively if you enjoy long, boring and irrelevant meetings then find 19 people and call a meeting.[banner heading=”Contact us” link=”https://www.global-integration.com/contact-us/” icon=”coffee” anchor=”Get in touch” align= “left”] We help organizations cut through the complexities of virtual, matrix and global working. [/banner]
[banner heading=”Virtual Teams” link=”https://www.global-integration.com/virtual-team-working/” icon=”virtual_teams” anchor=”Find Out More” align=”right”]Learn more about our virtual team offerings to help your virtual teams operate even more efficiently.[/banner]
Explore our training programs to see how we can help.Agile & Digital Training Matrix Management Training People and purpose Training Virtual Teams Training
Educate yourself further with a few more or our online insights:
25 years of experience learning with a range of world class clients
We work with a wide range of clients from global multinationals to recent start-ups. Our audiences span all levels, from CEOs to operational teams around the world. Our tools and programs have been developed for diverse and demanding audiences.
Tailored training or off the shelf modules for your people development needs
We are deep content experts in remote, virtual and hybrid working, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.
For more about how we deliver our keynotes, workshops, live web seminars and online learning.