Addressing Challenges of Groups and Teams
University of Phoenix
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Addressing Challenges of Groups and Teams
An effective team works together to achieve a common goal. In 2007 Wachovia CEO, Ken Thompson, had a goal that he envisioned for the fourth largest financial institution in the United States: ???to become the best, most trusted and most admired company in the financial services industry.??? His vision led the management team of the bank to make decisions that failed to investigate the shortcomings of Golden West Financial and ultimately led to the firing of Thompson as CEO and the short sale of Wachovia to Wells Fargo. However as we learn more about the failure of Wachovia we find that not all top level managers agreed with the purchase of Golden West and neglected to act as a team, they ignored the signs and focused on their individual units.
3C??™s of an Effective Team
Team A discussed how to increase the effectiveness of a group by discussing the challenges and benefits of communication, collaboration, and conflict. The discussion focused on creating a Business Training plan that would focus on the 3 C??™s of working on a team. The plan will teach individuals how incorporating the 3 C??™s in their team effort will support the achievement of team goals.
Team “A” identified how the importance of communication affects the unity of the team and builds trust and respect, while fostering learning and the accomplishment of goals. Teams consist of individuals who have different ways of approaching issues and resolving them. In order to strengthen the team it is important to understand how each member communicates verbally, in writing, and by his or her body language. In addition to these techniques, the team will also benefit from listening and understanding the thoughts and comments shared by other members of the team.
Collaboration ???is the basis for bringing together the knowledge, experience, and skills of multiple team members??? (Crow, 2002). Challenges to team collaboration arise when individuals are not willing to collaborate or do not have the right skills to collaborate effectively with other members of the team. Effective collaboration allows for the unification of thoughts and ideas that will result in the successful accomplishment of the team goals.
Understanding how communication and collaboration increase the productivity of the team should lead to the addressing of how the team will handle conflicts when they occur. Conflicts arise when members of the team do not address issues that affect the coherence of the team. Conflicts usually bring to light negative aspects of the team collaboration and if recognized can be used to positively influence the team??™s strategy.
Business Training Plan
Wachovia strongly encouraged the growth of individuals through education and training. The business plan designed by Team A will be set up as a classroom-learning module for individuals who lead a team through the implementation of a company project.
The business plan designed by Team A will focus on teaching individuals how to work in a team environment by explaining the 3 C??™s and how they can work together to bring about a successful completion of the team project. The training will discuss the concepts of communication, collaboration, and conflict then present the group with real-life scenarios that the group can work through as a team. In addition, the training will focus on training individuals to create Team Charters that list skill sets, ways of managing the group through conflicts, and deciding on when deliverables are due and in what format.
The training will include workshops that will focus on information and how it is processed by different groups of people from different ethnic backgrounds, genders, or education. The workshops will also focus on teaching individuals how to listen to others in order to gather as much feedback from the members of the team. Finally, the training will teach individuals how to read the signs that will lead to conflict: such as individual withdrawal from the team effort, anger, and low productivity.
Wachovia officials and top-level managers commented, ???the merger took only days to finalize and that the short period of time did not allow for a thorough investigation of Golden West??™s loan portfolio??? (Rothacker, 2008). The goal of a team is to work as one in order to reach a goal. Each Line of Business Manager had a responsibility to the success of the functioning of the bank as a whole and yet the lack of communication between the groups resulted in the untimely demise of a historic financial giant.
The individual mangers did not work as team because they did not communicate. The warning signs were there but each manager only focused on the parts that affected them and did not work together to ensure the security of the business they were promoting. The training plan designed by Team A will focus on teaching individuals how to communicate with each other by allowing each member of the team to know and recognize the individual strengths and weaknesses of the team.
The training plan would teach managers how to create a team charter that will address the responsibilities of each line of business and the methods for implementation. The team charter would include possible conflict scenarios and areas of high risk so that managers are aware of the challenges they will face. Mergers are opportunities for conflicts and by discussing the possibilities in advance, the managers would be able to read the signs and have the ability to act before the conflict become unmanageable.
Information is power. In the case of Wachovia, the downfall of the bank was a result of a mismanagement of information. Often when one thinks of a team they think of a small group of individuals working towards a common goal, but the success of a business depends on the effective communication of each employee. In order to avoid conflicts within a team, the team must be able to communicate and collaborate; these are the essentials of a team??™s success. Therefore, businesses must invest in training their employees on how to be successful in a team environment.