Tendency to Preserve
A team must be able to keep its goal definition stable. This is not trivial, because every team is subjected to forces which question the existing goals. These impulses can emerge from different environments: the organisation, the team members, customers and suppliers desire change. If a team is not to be constantly disturbed (and can only inadequately arrive at working towards the existing goals) with continuous reflection, ongoing discussions and permanent reorientation, it must have routines to shield itself against these ‘disturbances: “We have always done it this way! We have never done it like that. Anyone could come along …!”. It is important to see that this shielding is necessary.
Therefore, every team tends to decide conservatively. This is often negatively evaluated as resistance to change or as inflexibility. All too often, though, it is nothing more than an attempt to keep goals stable. Orderliness, once gained, is worth much and is, generally, not given up lightly. It is always risky to change the existing goals and their processing. Nobody knows if it is really necessary, whether one can agree on the innovation, whether one is competent to process the new and to produce it successfully. The members do not know if they will maintain their position in the new game or if this represents a chance or a threat for them. From the viewpoint of the organisation, it is not clear whether the employees can be won over for the new goal and whether they bring with them the required competences.