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Human Nature vs. Office Teamwork: Who will Win Out?

Jul 18, 2008
Wikipedia has probably one of the most complete yet simple definitions of teamwork

"Teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively as a team in order to accomplish the same goals/objectives."

If you stop and think teamwork is one of the most important aspects of every business. There isn't a business that doesn't talk about the need to their team to work together. Why though is it viewed as so beneficial? The majority of us are programmed to think what is in it for me, what reward will I get, what leadership will I gain and what power over others will I have. Why then fight so hard to overcome these instincts?

Teamwork has a unique outcome when it is truly applied to a project or goal. When several people are working together with the 'what's in it for us' mentality things are done faster, more efficiently and with more innovation. We cannot all be masters of everything but we do have things we excel in. When you get a group of people together working on various aspects of one project you will find that what would have taken you hours or even days to complete only takes someone else a fraction of the time.

People specialize in various areas and struggle in others, experience teaches us the best way to do things so allowing others to do what has taken them precious time to learn will save everyone time.

Problem solving as a group also sparks your own mind. For instance I was in a meeting once where we were asked to come with our ideas and then share them with the group. I thought and thought and had a whole page of ideas for the meeting. I got to the meeting and realized that as other people spoke it triggered something else in my brain and I had another idea. By the time the meeting was done I left with 2 additional pages of ideas. Thinking together is effective because it triggers parts of our own experience we weren't able to trigger on our own.

Teamwork has great power in a workplace and all though we have to fight nature it seems to accomplish it, it is worth it. There are more ideas out there to be had, more projects and goals to accomplish and teamwork is an effective way to think, complete and reach them. It will take an extra effort in your business to create a teamwork environment but your results for doing so will improve your business.
About the Author
Bart Icles knows the importance of working as a team especially in the workplace. He recommends visiting CMOE for more information on their Teamwork and Strategic Management
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