- Teams are made too large. Teams are a way to organize small groups; they are not the antidote to bureaucracy.
- Boundaries are too often left fuzzy – confusion is a productivity killer. What's in, what's out?
- The mission is not made compelling; boredom and disinterest dont' set the stage for inspired work.
- Team members too often are selected by making the easy choices, selected by position and availability and not by rigorous evaluation
- There is no allowance for a 'nemesis' member to neutralize 'group think'.
- Team membership is allowed to turnover too rapidly, thereby diluting cohesion and squandering productivity dependent upon personal relationships.
- There is bad decision-making process or inadequate decision-making skills.
- The membership includes difficult people, talented eccentrics that don't share and work collectively
- There is competition among members, often leading to secrecy and compartmentalization, quite opposite to collaboration
- There are empowerment uncertainties, awkward and untimely decision chains, and confusion about roles, rights, and responsibilities.
- Many personnel issues are left unresolved: "What do I have to give up?"
For more reading and insight, take a look at these references:
Robbins, H and Finley, M. "The New Why Teams Don't Work: What goes wrong and how to make it right" Berrett - Koehler, San Francisco, 2000
Some ideas from this blog were inspired by: Coutu, D. "Why Teams Don't Work", Interview with Dr. J. Richard Hackman, Harvard Business Review, Boston, May 2009
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