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Teaming – a more dynamic way to work

When you think about a team you probably think about a carefully designed, static group of individuals who are often based in the same building and have time to interact successfully and efficiently. They know each other, their individuals’ skills, strengths and weaknesses and are interdependent in achieving a shared goal.

When you think about a team you probably think about a carefully designed, static group of individuals who are often based in the same building and have time to interact successfully and efficiently. They know each other, their individuals’ skills, strengths and weaknesses and are interdependent in achieving a shared goal.

Amy Edmondson, a lecturer at Harvard Business School, has developed the concept of teaming, as a verb, to describe teamwork on the fly. Amy describes teaming as the coordination and communication of people, often across disciplinary boundaries, to get interdependent work done.

This is the way more and more of us have to work today, for example general practice is now having to work across systems within their ICS/STP to provide patient care with new people and do not have the luxury a stable team environment.

A typical example of teaming is a patient who goes to the A&E department at their local hospital. The hospital is a 24/7 operation, with people working across multiple different shifts, in different specialities who come together to take care of the patient. Often these people won’t know each other or worked together before. They have to work together quickly to support the patient to recover and go home. Once the patient goes home there may be a requirement for community teams to work together and provide care. Again these individuals in the community may not know each other or usually work together.

This is what an integrated care team could look like:

There are challenges to teaming, including:

  • diversity of the groups working together with different values, jargon and expertise so they don’t always see eye to eye
  • where are people geographically placed can they meet up to discuss care packages or are they reliant on other forms of communication
  • not knowing each other
  • each case being unique
  • the uncertainty of duration of working arrangements and timescales.

Teaming will be especially needed when work, or patient’s needs, are complex and unpredictable and there are many advantages, allowing people to:

  • learn from each other and gain a broader perspective of each other businesses
  • gain an insight into other teams cultures which they may want to adopt
  • have the ability to network across a geographical area which may introduce opportunities for new ways of working to be adopted in other projects
  • further increase their interpersonal skills.

We discuss this new way of working as part of our leadership programmes. We give delegates the tools to determine how they can turn a group of strangers into a team and develop their leadership skills and capabilities.

At this time of uncertainty during the Covid 19 outbreak teams may choose to adopt teaming. Edmondson explains that teaming is not a design choice it is simply a necessity for certain kinds of work and it takes leadership to:

  • surface and understand different views
  • analyse and generate new and nuanced options
  • examine implications systematically
  • make decisions and move forward

To find out more contact enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk