Both of my children are off on team building adventures at their schools this week. I don’t know about you, but we never did such a thing when I was growing up. That might explain why people in organizations act more like committees than team members. Here’s what I mean by this.
My mentor, Alan Weiss, is constantly reminding me that there is a huge difference between teams and committees. The only way for a team to win is if everyone on the team wins. Now think about most organizations that you know. Usually one person has to lose for another to gain. We see this when companies use force ranking to determine pay increases or even headcount. If your rating is higher than mine, then you’ll get a bigger piece of the pie. Everyone knows this, so each person operates in their own self-interest. You can’t build a team when you have a committee.
Now let’s look at committees. When you have a committee, usually someone has to lose in order for someone else to win. For example, you may have this great idea, but you may be out voted or worse yet, out maneuvered by others who have stronger personalities.
Think about this the next time you decide that you want to do team building exercises and ask yourself, do I have a team or do I have a committee? If you don’t know, then give me a call.