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Relevant Environments of the Team

One considerable aspect of team preservation is which environments are seen as relevant and thus included. Here, too, one must distinguish between the formal and the informal aspects.

Formally, there are usually clear structures and processes that determine, organisationally, which other teams and positions in the organisation are relevant for the team members. However, whether everybody knows this, shares the burden, understands the significance or rebels against these and is in an inner conflict with these positions, is another matter. Again and again, it is astonishing (in team developments) how many different attitudes and viewpoints individual team members have in this regard, often without communicating about this or being aware of the effects.

Whether communicated or not, on the informal side there is, in each team, a variety of fantasies about what is thought or talked about elsewhere in the organisation regarding the team or individual team members. One feels dependent upon a ‘reputation’ which one has (or not), one is concerned about which interactions, taking place elsewhere, are relevant to the team, and one is even occupied with cultivating those interactions which have nothing to do with the formal processes.

Thus, a ‘billowing cloud’ of interactions arises, which is not entirely known about by anyone but has considerable influence on the team parameters and the processing of goals. Particularly this aspect is easily underestimated by leaders and it is important to keep it in view during a team development.