Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Why do Teams Fail?

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Some indicators suggest that teams have around a 70 percent failure rate. There are 4 main causes:

1 Organisations put teams in at the low levels of the organisation but fail to make the same changes up the ladder. Senior managers see teams as a quick fix where the workers are the problem and, therefore, are the only ones requiring change. There is a need for senior managers to set an example.

2 A failure to educate an organisation's middle managers and supervisors first about teams. These people are caught in the middle: they are rarely consulted about the change and rarely given the skills to help manage in support of the team development process. Consequently, their first instinct is to undermine the whole movement to teams.

3 Teams are rarely given the whole picture. They never see a plan of where the team development is going. There is no sign-off on the transfer of authority to teams and little education for teams to successfully manage the functions that were once the domain of managers.

4 The lack of speed in changing the reward system to match team-based performance. Most rewards are still based on individual effort, despite being contrary to what teams, teamwork and partnership are all about.

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