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THE 'TEAM' CONCEPT does not work and is costing corporate America a fortune in lost productivity.

We need to consign it to the trash heap.

For decades, management gurus have pushed this idea. We've all heard that there is no "I" in team, that we achieve more as a team, and that teams boost employee morale.


Ask the people who really do the work and they will tell you that popular sayings such as "We're better when we work together," might be great management talk, but it's a recipe for failure that seldom inspires the people that do the real work.

Trust me. I know. I have worked on teams. I have listened to all those inspirational messages by management telling me I can achieve more as a member of a team. But I also know that anything meaningful I achieved I did so as an individual, not as a member of a team.

Here's why the concept does not work:

• Members of a team are not motivated to do the real work.

By creating a team, only the leader achieves the reward for achieving anything. The members of the team are all told how wonderful they are, but when it comes to salary increases, bonuses or recognition, they are merely "members of a team."

If they are rewarded, they all get the same rewards. A common reaction is: "Joe did no work at all on this project, yet he gets the same increase as I did." "I came up with the idea to revolutionize our thinking on this product, yet all the members of the team and particularly the leader get all the credit."

• No one except the leader is accountable.

Good luck trying to figure out who is responsible if the project fails to get off the ground.

• Teams are less productive.

Typically, a team holds meetings that get nowhere and members of the team do the minimum amount of work they can get away with because they do not get any recognition for their role in the project.

Eventually, a private contractor is called in to get the job done. Bet that company doesn't work as a team.

Ditch this concept today and come up with something better. Check out the books in our Biztips Bazaar above to discover how to do so. — Graham Fysh

It's time to bury the TEAM concept


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