The pace of change and the ever-shifting complexities that companies are facing on a daily basis require a different approach to teamwork. Teaming is a response to this. It is active not static, doing rather than being. Across nearly all industries including patient care, strategic development, product design, and rescue operations, groups of employees are increasingly put together at short notice in order to solve complex business challenges ‘on the fly’. The group members need to get to know their tasks and roles quickly in order to form an effective team under time-pressured or urgent scenarios.
Teaming operates in a different way to the traditional idea of a team, which often has as its core, a more static, established base created and nurtured over time. A teaming approach allows companies and employees to respond quickly and effectively to what may be a one-time only situation. In this new landscape, the temporary and agile nature of teaming becomes its core strength. Take the example of a hospital emergency room. In this setting, clinicians from different areas and with different sets of expertise need to come together immediately and in real time to solve a specific patient problem. They may never have met before, but the teaming approach used within this setting is crucial to the outcome of the patient, which could be that of life or death.
Creating the right environment and employing the right ‘software’ (e.g., team culture) and ‘hardware’ (e.g., work design) to support the team can be challenging for leaders. So, when a teaming approach is required, what do leaders need to do to ensure its success? Simon de Jong, Professor in Organisation Studies at the School of Business and Economics, shares some of his insights on teaming within the Leadership session on the Entrepreneurship and New Business Development module on the MaastrichtMBA.