The Idea of A Team is More Complex Than You Imagine!

Apron view, with British Airways aircraft parked at the aerobridge.

When I first started out, and was undergoing my basic training for senior prison officers, I had an “in-depth” debate over what defines a team.

My Officer-in-Charge of Training then said that a team should consist of a group of people running in unison steps.

I told him that was not a team, but a factory assembly line. Instead, I think a team is a group of people with conplementary skill sets coming together towards a common goal.

A debate lasting 10 minutes ensued, and my squad mates told me to shut up and give in.

They wanted me to give in because my OC is of higher rank and he had more years of experience.

I gave in because team members do not compel each other to conform to a single mindset or set of footsteps.

In 2014, I was put in charge of Yellow Ribbon Run's Rehabilitation Exhibition. This is the group photo I had with my team.
My best team members!

After all these years, whenever I look back at the debate, with my accumulated working experience as reference, I am all the more convinced my idea of a team was correct.

A team is formed to complete a set of tasks, and not all tasks can be completed by a single skill set.

A person good in numbers may not be good in closing a sales lead. A customer service officer may not be good in inventories tracking.

What matters most is the employment of individuals with suitable skill sets. And that everyone in the team knows how they can contribute to the desired outcome and when they are supposed to deliver.

Requiring everyone on the team to run in the same footsteps is like asking everyone to clock in for work at the same time.

But we all know that trainers have to be at least 1 hour early to set up the classrooms; security requires people to work night shifts. The list goes on.

The team as an assembly line is gradually replaced by robots, so why are we asking our team members to behave like robots and to adopt behaviours that is soon to be obsolete?

Disclaimer: I am a casual social commentator, who speaks because it is logical and rational, so my points are not necessarily based on established research and studies. As much as possible, I will refer to theories and knowledge I picked up through formal education. If you do agree to my ideas, please feel free to contaminate others in your social circle. If you disagree, though, it would be good to provide sources and credits, so that I can learn from my mistakes.

Xiong Xiong teddy bear posing at a sundeck, laid with a blue and white striped beach towel, together with a pair of sunglasses, a cap and a bottle of water.
Do not be amazed. Each of the party in this picture makes up an enjoyable time in the sun.

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