Let's talk today about teamwork and HR practices from the perspective of designing organizational systems.
In most companies I visit, the term "team" is actively used. But let's first understand this term.
A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal.
As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management, "team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, knowledge and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal".
If we continue to look at various sources, the theme of a common goal will constantly recur, and I agree that this is a key point that distinguishes a team from a working group. And this automatically makes most of the so-called teams, not teams. Which is not bad or good in itself, but let's just learn not to deceive ourselves in organizations.
Now let's think about what aspect of teamwork is crucial for combining their efforts to achieve a common goal: in my opinion - it's collaboration. Collaboration, according to many child psychologists, is the default method of children's interaction - just look at how quickly they start building sandcastles together. But the modern education system (schools, universities) teaches them a completely different interaction model called "competition" - we will record everyone in the journal and will grade them. So they come to our companies, where HR practices...
Where HR practices begin to help them grow as cool engineers, take on more responsibility, solve more complex problems, and for this, they receive higher salaries and bonuses. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I have nothing against it, except that it does not help collaboration at all and moreover does not give it any opportunity to manifest. And then we wonder why our teams are somehow not team-like.
What to do, you ask? I'll give two answers - a complex one and a simple one.
Complex: first, learn to see the entire organization as a complex system and subject any of its elements to doubt, as well as empirically change, formulating hypotheses of what systemic effect you want to achieve.
Simple: imagine that your team consists of children who are learning to play football, and you are helping them. Now think about whether you will reward some of them with candies for a particularly good game and how this will affect their teamwork.