The moment I mention “team-building” in a corporate environment I get two distinct reactions. Top management smile sagely and point me to all the initiatives held, budgets spent and courses created in order to build a “more effective team” because, of course, everyone in the business “is part of one big family”.
Everyone else rolls their eyes and shuffles their feet. They’ve been subjected to an endless stream of rhetoric, lectures, PowerPoint presentations, training films, memos and short courses on how to work better as a team so they can be more productive, efficient and fit in with the corporate culture.
We’ve been looking at team building since the 1920s and the Hawthorne effect. Nearly a century of effort should have it sorted by now.
Here’s why: Until everyone matters in a business no one does.
You can’t have people who partially matter. Yes, the role may be different and the degree of responsibility that goes with it will also change but there is no logic in offering money to someone to do a job that matters maybe some of the time.
Failure to grasp that creates a business culture that’s at odds with itself. Failing to achieve true cohesion through equality, a business sabotages itself and ends up spending money it could have used elsewhere to fix a problem itself created.