Team dynamics

Team dynamics, why do some teams excel while others, perhaps of equal talent, suck? Take for example, the Beatles. I consider the Beatles to be the greatest band of all time. Their music is timeless. The quality of the song writing, the harmonies, the brilliant guitar work and percussion. They were the full package and they appealed to the masses.

The Beatles were somewhat of an anomaly. Unlike most bands, where each member plays a specific role, each member of the Beatles were multi-talented. Every member could sing, write songs and play an instrument. This unusual multi-talented dynamic enable the Beatles to become, well, the Beatles.

Most teams, be it technology teams or sports teams, do not have a multi-talented dynamic like the Beatles. When teams try to operate as if they were multi-talented, they run into trouble. This happens because you have team members working outside of their strengths.

My recommendation is to let team members operate within their strengths. Not only will this bring them more satisfaction, it benefits team performance as a whole. In cross functional teams, each member has a unique talent. Let that talent shine. This doesn’t mean you can’t cross train and help each other out. It just means that teams operate best when each individual brings their top strength to the table.

Just like in sports, great teams consist of players who focus on becoming the best at their position. Jerry Rice wouldn’t waste any time practicing hand offs or kicking field goals. Instead, he worked at running routes and catching passes. His talent combined with his focus to develop as a receiver, enabled  him to become great and his team to win championships.

So when it comes to team dynamics, don’t try to be the Beatles. For optimal performance, let each team member work within their strengths. When each team member is operating in their sweet spot, the team will rock.

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