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10 Critical Success Factors for a Team: The New Science of High Achieving Organisations

- By Shalini K, 16 November 2020 | 3 MIN READ


Teamwork is key to success, but other than teamwork certain aspects make a team rewarding.

1. The ideal team size is between five and Nine

Anything more to it decreases the likelihood of success. Adding team members beyond the point can often result in disengagement and demotivation. It is a generally accepted assumption that management can fix a problem by throwing people at it.  

2. “Good chemistry” not a good thing for teams 

If there’s not enough diversity to create conflict, teams tend to fall into predictable furrows. What’s important here isn’t the appearance of diversity (i.e. quotas), but a diversity of culture and ways of thinking.

3. Attachment with a team releases Oxytocin

That’s the same brain chemical that’s released during a sexual orgasm. People enjoy working more when they’re on a good team.

4. Effective teams don’t have leaders

Teams work best when members listen and talk in equal measure and produce synergy. If any member seizes control and begins to take over the discussions, the team falters.

5. Teams do need managers

Diverse teams are more creative and productive, but they require a manager who can help team members communicate and work together efficiently.

6. Small teams outperform prodigies

There are exceptions and that’s why we have Einsteins and Newtons, but they’re exceedingly rare. In real life, brilliant people are more useful and creative when working with others, who are equally brilliant.

7. Conflict within a team is necessary

Creative abrasion allows a team to identify different approaches. However, conflicts shouldn’t get personal and surface the reasons behind their disagreements.

8. Men are insecure when in the minority

Men feel insecure and less committed to a project when there are more women in the team. Women are apparently unaffected by this ratio.

9. Mixed-age teams outperform

Youthful energy at work trumps all is not always true, mixed-age teams have more “creative abrasion” a combination of both could be truly rewarding.

10. Virtual teams are hyped to an extent

Teams work better together in physical proximity. If a team must be virtual, it should have periodic in-person team meetings.

Critical success factors that are currently an area of weakness can be resolved with changes in the team size, grouping, manager’s role, while those which are areas of strength or opportunity can be further improved or leveraged.



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