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An extract from the 60 tools available in...
Section 6: Tools for understanding teams
This section provides tools that will help you to understand teams and teamwork and shows the main differences between merely forming groups and creating truly effective teams.

Tool # 6.1 Questionnaire to determine the readiness of staff for team development linked with change

• Designed to use prior to team formation.
• Quick and easy to administer.


This tool is a very effective and easily administered questionnaire to determine the readiness of staff for team development.

This questionnaire has been used on many occasions to help people understand the basic attitudes required to work effectively in teams. After completing the questionnaire, some groups realise that they are not yet suited to working in teams. (The difference between groups and teams is explained in Tool 6.2.)

This questionnaire is taken from Robert F Hicks and Dianne Bone, Self-managing Teams: Creating and Maintaining Self-Managed Work Groups (Fifty Minute Series, Crisp Publications, 1990).

Respond to each of the following statements about your workplace by circling 'Yes' or 'No':

1. 'We like our managers, and we like being managed. Our manager tells us exactly what to do, and we don't have to think for ourselves. We hope things won't change because we like them the way they are.'

Yes No

2. 'We find that management often blocks our productivity by using too many controls. We would like more responsibility and autonomy in our work.'

Yes No

3. 'Our group is very creative and is always coming up with new ideas. We would like to try some of our ideas, because we think they will improve productivity. We're willing to take responsibility for implementing these ideas. If we fail (but we don't believe we will), we will accept responsibility for that as well.'

Yes No

4. 'We are very independent thinkers. We like working alone, with little interference from anyone. We realise that teamwork is important, but, to be honest, we communicate only when necessary. We're happy to stay out of the limelight and do our work without a lot of fuss.'

Yes No

5. 'In our organisation/community we feel a need for a challenge. Our organisation/community isn't promoting people the way it used to, so we haven't had a chance to become managers. We need stimulation, a shot in the arm. Maybe learning new job skills and gaining some management techniques would help us rebuild our pride in our work.'

Yes No

Comments on the answers

Answering 'yes' to questions 1 and 4 demonstrates that the respondents are not ready for teams. They either like working for a manager, or prefer to work alone. They are also going to resist change. Answering 'yes' to questions 2, 3 and 5 indicates that respondents are appropriate team candidates. They would like more autonomy, aren't afraid of the possibility of failure, and are ready for change.

Source: Robert Hicks et al 1990

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