We all know what team is, right?
Or do we?
Do we mean a formal team, that neat set of boxes on an org chart?
Or a project team, that delivers something for the business.
Or a product team, that manages and develops a portfolio of products,
Or a programme team, delivering a business outcome
Or an ad-hoc team, pulled together to deal with a crisis.
Or a football team that plays against other parts of the business.
Or a new product team, that’s looking for and testing new ideas.
Or a strategy team that’s looking at where the business is going.
Or an acquisition team, looking for other companies to buy.
Or an integration team, to onboard those acquisitions.
In my corporate career, I was in all of these teams, often several at the same time.
All teams, but very diverse in terms of make-up, membership, structure, duration, objective, deliverables, duration, ways of working, in feel, in effectiveness and, yes, in culture.
Teams are vitally important, they are where the work gets done. I believe the future of work is about networks of teams. Teams are the future.
But we need to get an awful lot smarter about how we think about them, how we talk about them and how we bring them together.