Using Teams in Small Business

One powerful tool often used by big business to boost productivity and improve outcomes is the use of Teams.

Teams are a small group of people (or staff) with complementary skills, who are committed to a common goal or purpose, set of performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves accountable (Katzenbach &Smith 1993).

Other essential elements of a team is that they have knowledge of each other, a skill to work together, trust, commitment and a shared identity. Teams are held together by their interdependence and the need to collaborate to achieve a common goal.

Typically teams are set up in large organisations such as the military, hospitals, government organisations, production or R&D facilities. They can be used for many and varied purposes such as assembling a product, providing a service, solving a clients problem, developing a new product or searching for new opportunities.

There is however great merit in using these same models in small business.

One of my clients for example is using a Team to roll out a new IT operations system in their business. The Production, Installation and Administration managers, along with the external consultant have formed a Team to make sure the rollout is carried out in the best possible manner.

Each person brings complementary skills to the table, and coming together for this specific task they have provided huge benefits to the rollout. There is a schedule, a plan, accountability and all aspects of the business are represented to make sure mistakes are limited and the rollout proceeds the best possible way.

This means that the business owner is free to overview the process relying on the depth of the business to carry out the actual work and make the best decisions.

Using teams in small business allows for a broader spectrum of problem solving, and if knowledgeable people are brought to the decision making process, mistakes are limited and a greater level of possibilities can be uncovered. It gives individuals more accountability and this can improve job satisfaction.

So if you have a problem, task or a new initiative in your business, consider putting together a team… it could be beneficial and increase the speed, efficiency, quantity and quality of the outcome.

Steve Eastwood
Small Fish Business Coaching Melbourne

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