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The Optimal Team

It is a noteworthy phenomenon how common the tendency is, among practitioners as well as theoreticians, to develop normative models for teams: How does ‘correct’ teamwork function? What does an ‘optimal’ team look like? We do not find the answers to such questions helpful. The conditions and the constraints under which teams work, the objectives and their volatility, the expertise, the reflective skills of the employees, all these are so different, that a norm of ‘one size fits all’ almost prohibits itself.

From a metatheory point of view, each team must find out by itself how it shapes its guiding processes – and to what extent this is functional for the achievement of its goals and the accomplishment of its tasks. All concepts that define specific procedures, competences or behaviours of team leaders or members as good, sensible or correct, per se, are insufficiently complex. Through this insufficient complexity they create the illusion that if one follows the rules and the norms, everything will be good or better. If a team orientates itself by such norms, it remains caught in an external orientation or will be entrapped in it: “In the book it says …” or “The trainer knows how we have to do it!”. Through this, an individual analysis of the status quo, working on the team’s potential, and a development building upon this becomes more difficult.

From a metatheory understanding, developing a team means checking whether new decisions regarding stabilisation or change, the same or new sanctions, new or old disappointment routines, reflected and self-evident processes or another balance between interests and problems are necessary. There is no optimum for setting these questions. One can only engage with it explicitly or not. Both have consequences.

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