SBM Articles


Teamwork and Your Culture

by Jonathan Jones

Have you ever had one team act like it was better than the rest of the company teams? While it is great to achieve high-performing departments, it most often creates a “silo” effect. While each department may consider itself a superstar, departments may be at odds with each other. They are competing internally rather than with the external competition and are not focused on the clients.

Corporate teamwork philosophy is the key aspect of achieving an optimal culture. The reason a working group needs to become an integrated “team” is that collectively, by following the principles of teamwork, it amplifies the performance of the whole.

Consider the effect of each team within your organization. The definition of “a team” from “The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization,” by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith, is “a small number of people with complementary skills who are equally committed to a common purpose, goals, and working approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

Based on this element, a large organization is not a team. However, if one department member creates friction with other departments, we’ve got a problem. The best way to mitigate is to structure the organization as a collection of teams. From a culture standpoint, “teamwork” must be a cultural value, modeled top-down by the leadership, and the leadership team must hold the corporate values accountable to a common purpose, with aligned goals and processes.

The teams must communicate expectations with each other to hold each other accountable. If customer service is an organizational value, then each team is responsible for holding its team members to the company values. Consistent reinforcement will drive excellent customer service.

You create a team environment by creating a coordinated collection of high-performing teams.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 1 years 297 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
Views: 537