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The Teamwork Model

People fall into the following three levels of teamwork:

Level 1: Individuals. Individual performers on solo projects.  Within a limited scope individuals can deliver exceptional results.

Level 2: Groups. A group includes the participants and a leader.  The team’s final product is a joint contribution and reflects the strength of the group as a whole.  Teams at this level take time and require a stable environment to build working relationships amongst the participants.

Level 3: A Collection of Individuals. This level of teamwork exemplifies the positive attributes of individuals and groups.  A Collection of Individuals is able to tackle the most ambitious and difficult projects.  Each member is a master craftsman.  At this level of teamwork the product reflects the strengths of individual participants and the group as a whole.  Level 3 teams typically do not require a stable environment and may, in fact, thrive under changing circumstances.

The business world demands that Collections of Individuals be formed on an ad hoc basis.  In many cases it is neither cost effective nor an efficient use of resources to commit a group of people to the same set of tasks for any length of time. While it may be unrealistic to expect a level of true mastery from everyone it should be the goal we all strive to achieve.