Adaptation of Team Goals
The necessary regulation of team goals has a series of consequences, which leadership and consultancy ought to keep in mind.
The less the team members can, wish to or are permitted to introduce their own new goals, the less ‘adaptable’ the team is. Only in limited, dynamic and complex environments should one, therefore, direct the guiding process ‘goal setting’ solely from the side of the organisation or the leadership.
There is a ‘tension relationship’ between the social and temporal dimension. The more the goal setting is discussed amongst each other, the longer the process takes (“Turn right!” “Why?”) On the other hand, the identification of everyone with the shared result is then usually much larger.
Each individual partial step of goal adaptation can be ‘disturbed’: No variation of the goals takes place (“It has always been like this here!”), there is no formation of alternatives (“Just leave it rest!”), nothing is decided (“Come on, we have discussed this so often already!”) or it becomes an ongoing discussion, (“We will have to think about this again more thoroughly!”).
When teams do not primarily choose their goals themselves (like in organisations) but get them prescribed, the space for the negotiation process of the group members’ personal goals becomes narrow. On the one hand, this stabilises the team and on the other hand it reduces the complexity and contingency to the detriment of members’ motivation.