Did you know there is a difference between “teamwork” and “teaming”? I didn’t either until I watched a great TED talk by Amy Edmondson, which you can watch here. It’s called “How to Turn A Group of Strangers into a team”.
Edmondson suggests that teamwork is what sports teams do. Teamwork is:
–a bounded group of individuals
–interdependent in a shared outcome
In other words, teamwork involves a group of people who stay together for awhile and get to PRACTICE.
By Contrast, Teaming is “teamwork on the fly”. It’s more like a pick up game, with people thrown together into a team project with little or no time to practice!
Teaming is VERY common in today’s world of fast-paced, 24/7 global operations. We just don’t have the luxury of creating stable teams. Expertise changes, roles shift rapidly — often don’t have fixed time or fixed deliverables.
Teaming is hard, potential for “professional culture clash”.
Here are the Required Skills for being successful in teaming. Be:
- Humble in the face of the challenge ahead. Leaders need to be clear they don’t know how to do it.
- Curious about what others bring
- Willing to take risk to learn quickly what might work
This all creates psychological safety, so essential for new teams.
The point: We can get things done in silos, but when we reach across groups, miracles can happen.