Strategic Team Development

From the vast array of people comes infinite combinations of variety. When organizations desire to develop teams for the advancement of success they are met with what can sometimes feel like insurmountable odds. This is why organizational leaders need to have a clear strategy for team development.

Teams are groups of individuals who share a social identity as a unit, possess common goals, are interdependent in terms of tasks or outcomes, have distinct roles within the team, and are embedded in a larger organizational or societal context where they either influence others or are influenced by others (Kozlowski and Ilgen, 2006). At the core of any team must be a pursuit for effectiveness which is gauged by the team’s actions, feelings, and learning (Van Velsor et al., 2010). An organizational leader can measure the team’s effectiveness through action-oriented indicators such as goal achievement as a team, the prosocial supportive behavior the members of the team exhibit toward one another and the team as a whole, and how the team as a whole interact in prosocial ways towards the organization and the members of the organization who are not a part of the team (Van Velsor et al., 2010). Teams that operate as a clique, are supportive of only their team members, or who exhibit behaviors of superiority towards others in the organization are unhealthy and should be reassigned to different teams individually.

All of this requires an intentional strategy that takes into account the goals of the organization and the goals of the individuals within the organization. Strategy assists individuals within a team to feel valued enough to act cooperatively with the alignment of action because they feel as though what they are doing is important (Eden & Ackermann, 2012).

Why do organizational leaders tend to ignore strategic team development?


Eden, C., & Ackermann, F. (2011). Making Strategy: Mapping Out Strategic Success (Second Edition edition). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Kozlowski, S. W. J., & Ilgen, D. R. (2006). Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7(3), 77–124.

Van Velsor, E., McCauley, C. D., Ruderman, M. N., & Center for Creative Leadership (Eds.). (2010). The Center for Creative Leadership handbook of leadership development (3rd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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