We’ve had a successful year in 2010. What started with ominous warnings about a double dip recession has been relatively smooth sailing without being spectacular. This is what one might call a character cementing year.

In any case there has been through the course of the year, some instances where we’ve had to look at ourselves and examine what we mean to do and what we mean to achieve. There has been challenges, issues, highs and lows. All of this made me muse about teamwork and oft bandied about phrase in corproate boardrooms and environments. Definitely in our firm this has been examined once or twice.

I am a big believer in working in groups. I get bored or frustrated working alone and tend to gravitate towards the group. However, recent experiences working and watching groups at work in the office, at play and especially within client organisations, it made me realise that there is very little emphasis on group work and success. The group ethos is being systematically eroded by the demands of modern day business. We are being pressured to deliver ahead of time, more than specified and under cost. This means the group needs to deliver regardless of whether all participate and make an informed decision or only a few take charge and drive the decisions.

Group work and success is also undermined by the short term nature of modern business. The biggest revolution that Big Business America brought to the world was financial measurement and management. Reporting on a quaterly basis and measuring performance on that basis and duration, meant groups HAD to deliver in 3 months. Otherwise they were out. This does not instill and build continuity, confidence and engender a sense of belonging. When people, who are the core of groups, corporations and teams, feel threatened and under the pressure of performing in a very short space of time, they cannot walk with swagger. The walk with a swagger will lead to creative ideas to solve problems, will lead to innvoation, will ultimately lead to success. People or groups of people feeling good about their surroundings, their environment will ensure happy customers, more value and increased profitablity.

Easy to say but always a challenge to execute. Achieving this nirvana is never as easy it is described. There will always be lows and with the lows the highs will come. I try to remind myself of that all the time. I recognise that we do not achieve or deliver something to expectations, we must recognise what has prevented us from delivering the success and address that as quickly and efficiently as possible. By reviewing not only the mistakes and lows but also the successes and the highs groups and teams learn and when teams learn to repeat success, it feeds unto itself. Communications is key and fundamental to this.

Management Theory 101 – I guess.