An individual can rarely accomplish great things by him or herself. It takes teamwork, collaboration and support from others to achieve lofty heights. This becomes clear when working in an organization. Each and every person has something to contribute – whether it be cleaning the floors or making decisions worth millions of dollars.When Google formed a group to figure out what elements make the best teams within an organization, the project was named “Project Aristotle” after one of the western world’s greatest philosophers.
It was Aristotle who famously and accurately said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is absolutely correct because as another saying goes “No man is an island.”
Google’s goal was to determine what makes some teams work better than others. Interestingly, high-level executives were more inclined to attribute a team’s effectiveness to numbers and other such results while the team members themselves focused on team culture, according to an article in Inc. magazine.
“On the surface, this may not seem surprising,” writes Justin Bariso, founder of Insight. “But it actually reveals a major insight: To build a successful team, you must find the balance between results and culture.”
This balance means that an organization should create teams that feel trusted and believe in the company culture so much that results almost become automatic. Individual team members must feel safe and comfortable within that team. This type of environment encourages a free flow of ideas and risk-taking. Individual members know that other team members will encourage them rather than embarrass them.
Team members also have to be dependable. When one or two members do not carry their weight, then others can become resentful. It also unevenly divides the burden of work. When everyone feels confident that there will be a meaningful contribution from all players, that’s when you see real results.
Before team members begin a project, it is important to set out clear goals and objectives. A clear structure should also be implemented. We often start a project overconfident that we understand what is expected of us. However, later on in the process, confusion arises and this just leads to bottlenecks. Ensure that this does not happen by setting clear targets and creating an environment where everyone is on the same page.
Finally, when someone knows they are going to make a difference if they accomplish a goal, it makes them more motivated. The same goes for teams. When it is clear to team members that their work has the potential to be meaningful and impactful, they will feel inspired and excited. They will strive for optimal performance the results will be amazing.