Lead Team Effectiveness: Conditions By Hackman

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Question :

BSBLDR403 Lead team effectiveness

Part-A  Case Study: 1 Read the following case study and complete the questions that follow.

Getting the most from your team

In leading teams: setting the stage for great performances, J. Richard Hackman, a Harvard University Psychology Professor, shares his extensive knowledge and research on teamwork. He suggests team leaders need to ensure there are five essential conditions in place that contribute to a team’s success. These are:

• The team must be a real team, rather than a team name only. • The team must have compelling direction for its work(a clear common goal) • The team must have a structure that encourages and facilitates teamwork. • The team must operate within a supportive organisational context. • The team must have expert teamwork coaching.

Hackman studied what he calls ‘real time teams’ – team such as air plane cockpit crews or orchestras that have no second chance to perform their work correctly. He says that examining teams such as these, which have to operate within highly stressful and pressured situations at the peak of their ability, helps us understand how more every day teams can operate more effectively. He recalls that the biggest surprise he encountered while undertaking he research on leading teams was unhappy one: ‘… how incredibly under-utilized members’ talents were in most of the teams we studies… most teams, including senior executive teams , generally leave untapped enormous pools of member talent …. Team leader and the members must learn how to better harness and focus member’s talent in carrying out the teams work – and to do so in a way that strengthens the team itself as a performing unit and that contributes to the ongoing learning and growth of individual team members’.

Answer the following question based on the above case study information:

a. How would you go about ensuring that the five conditions identified by Hackman were present by your work team or for a team that you can observe? b. Describe whether you think each condition already exists now in this team. Give examples. c. For each condition outline a plan for implementing or improving it.

Case Study: 2 Read the following case study and complete the questions that follow.

Leadership styles and team effectiveness

Harvard business school professor Teresa Amiable, worked with several colleagues on the problem and the things leaders can do to make their team members feel supported. The team focused on the employees who worked in what they defined as ‘creative’ employment, which included developing new fabrics and creating new databases. Their findings are relevant to team leader in all industries, as the researchers identified a range of actions leaders take that can have either a positive or a negative effect on staff members’ ability to be creative. Teresa’s team identified four leadership activities that give team members a more positive perception of the level of support they receive:

• Giving timely feedback and reacting to problems at work with understanding and assistance. • Showing support for a team member’s action or decisions; helping alleviate stressful situations for subordinates; socialising and generally interacting with the team on a personal level; keeping team members informed about stressful situations; addressing subordinates’ negative feelings; interacting with the team on a personal level. • Recognising good work privately and publicly. • Asking for team members’ idea and opinions and acting on these ideas or wishes.

The team identified three leadership activities that give team members a more negative perception of the level of support they receive:

• Checking on the status of assigned work too often; displaying an inadequate understanding of subordinates’ capabilities or work; providing non-constructive negative feedback on work done; checking on the status of assigned work for too long; displaying lack of interest in subordinates’ work or ideas. • Giving assignments that are not appropriate for the team member; not providing enough clarity about an assignment; changing assignments or objectives too frequently; giving assignments that conflict with other management instructions. • Avoiding solving problems or creating problems.

Dave and the Vision team

The leader of the Vision team was not a particularly charismatic leader. Rather, he was quietly effective through a number of consistent behaviours: he monitored progress on the project at reasonable intervals, rather than making team members feel that he was monitoring them personally. In addition, he essentially monitored his own work for them, frequently reporting to them on his own project tasks. Moreover, he frequently consulted them for their ideas on the project- ideas that were often implemented.

He was a champion for the project, selling it throughout the organisation whenever he heard of doubts that others had about it. In the course of selling the project across the organisation, he gathered useful technical and tactical information that he then brought back to the team. He frequently recognised good work on the project, almost always in a public setting (such as a team meeting).

James and the Fusion team

By contrast, the leader of the Fusion team, James, was ineffective on many counts. He micromanaged the work by narrowly defining assignments, constantly inquiring about individual progress and trying to direct people’s work. He didn’t campaign the project or serve as an information-gathering ambassador for it. James rarely recognised good work and when he did, it was in a private-rather than public-setting.

James’ narrow definitions of the project tasks deprived the project of the creative ideas the team might have generated if given more latitude. Without that creative thinking, the team’s performance suffered, likely reinforcing James’s basic tendency to micromanage and closely monitor individual team members. The micromanaging and negative monitoring angered the team members, who wasted their time venting their frustrations about James rather than working productively on the project.

Answer the following question based on the above case study information:

a. Dave and James have different approaches to promoting team effectiveness and leadership. How would you rate yourself as a team leader- more like Dave or James? Explain your response.

b. Give some example of work or tasks where you think James’ management style would work well, Explain why you think this in this case.

Part –B

Question 1: 

Suggest a solution to address each impact you have listed. You should refer to the strategies for developing team cohesion to support you responses.

Question 2:

Research a leader you admire it might be someone you have worked with who you can interview such as team leader, supervisor and manager. Describe:

a. The qualities of the person you have selected or aspects of their leadership that you admire. b. Their greatest challenges and achievements as a leader. c. How they supported their team member in the problem identification and resolution processes. d. Please describe the real situation where they led by example. e. By adopting some of the practices of the person you researched for Question (a), how could you be an effective leader? f. Why is it important to have open communication between yourself and senior managers?

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Answer :

Part A 

Case study 1

A) Ensuring the effectiveness of the 5 conditions by Hackman

The five essential conditions identified by Hackman is meant to form an effective team that with collaboration and achieve effective results. To ensure the application of these conditions, it is important to have a real team who has a daily pressure of job commencement. The team lead will be driven to achieve a single objective or goal (Olaiya et al. 2016). Framing a effective teamwork structure can only be done after knowing the members very well to understand their strength and weaknesses. 

Moreover, a supportive organizational structure depends on the workplace culture of the company. 

B) The existence of the conditions in your team

Among the five important conditions of team effectiveness conditions such as compelling the members to work in a common goal and a common objective and planning a structure that would encourage teamwork already exists in the real team. However, there is an absence of supportive organizational context and an expert teamwork coaching. 

C) Improvement plan

The two of the most vital conditions that are missing out from the team needs to be included in a team to gain a most effective team operational structure. 

In order to bring in a supportive organizational structure where the organization supports creative work environment and positive leadership can be incorporated to motivate the work of the employees and reward in different modes. 

Moreover, an experienced person having a skill in manning teams can be hired to provide an effective teamwork coaching. 

Case study 2

  1. According to Teresa Amiable, giving timely feedback, showing team support and recognizing good work publicly reflect a good leadership style and an effective team management. In comparison among the two teams, dave have an effective approach towards manning his team rather than James. Dave was a more effective leader who used to monitor team progress in a reasonable interval and he reported his own work progress to the team. Furthermore, unlike James, Dave gave always recognised good work in public. This reason makes it more likely to rate for Dave as a team leader because of the positive attitude he carries. 
  2. James management style does not encourage creative work environment. This style can be incorporated into teams working under a definite production procedure such as in a manufacturing industry. James keeps a constant noticing of the individual work and has no urge to campaign for the project and gather information that would help. This is germane in the case of a production process in a manufacturing industry where a leader has to lead a team under specified circumstances and keep a daily record of the individual work progress. 

Part B 

Question 1 

Reasons for team failurePotential impact on the teamSolution
Absence of trustAn absence of trust in the team destroys the team cohesion where people cannot maintain a steady collaboration in their job (Leo et al. 2015).  This is the responsibility of the team leaders to increase the team cohesion. Regular team games, outing or organizing parties can increase trust among the team members (Johnson & Avolio, 2015).  
Fear of conflictSilent conflict among the team members is very harmful in destroying team cohesion and bonding among the team members. Maintaining an open desk policy where any team member can come up and give their feedback or reveal their needs and issues can help to mitigate the impact (Kukenberger, Mathieu, & Ruddy, 2015)
Lack of commitmentLack of commitment from the team members will delay the project deadlines and deliver a less motivational environment. This impact can affect the entire team performance. The team leader should motivate the team members and make them realize with the outcomes of finishing the project within time c(Li iet al. 2018). Moreover, rewards should be provided with better job recognition.  
Avoidance of accountabilityThe team member who does not proactively take into account any job responsibility actually holds the team back. To increase the sense of accountability among the team members, the leaders must give on more responsibility to the members. 
Inattention to resultsIt sometimes happens that team members do not care about the outcome of the project. This affects the quality of the work. Moreover, the negligence attitude of any member demotivates other team members as well.  It can be mitigated by selecting skilled and dedicated members for the team or for working for any project. Moreover, motivating the members and leader should work side by side with the members to show the importance of the task. 

Question 2

  1. An aspect of the leadership admired

The best part of the leader that is admired the most is his quality of encouraging others and patiently listening to any issue his team member has. This makes him more effective as a team leader who can be approached for any issue regarding the work at any time of the day. 

b) The greatest challenges and achievement as a leader

The greatest challenge faced by the leader was to build a cohesive team with better trust among the members. The team members in the initial days were new to each other and thus could not collaborate properly with each other. 

The greatest achievement as a leader was of course to mitigate the biggest challenge faced of building a team with better trust and loyalty among each other. 

c) Supporting the team member in identifying the problem and resolving them

A constant engagement with the team members and mixing up with everyone gave the leader a better opportunity to know more about the members. This allowed the leader to make their team members engaged in the decision-making process, identifying the issues among them and also providing an open-ended solution for the entire team. 

d) A real situation where they lead

A situation arose when there was a serious delay of a project deliverable and almost 30% of the team members were on leave. The hectic situation of finishing the project within the deadline was hectic and easily handled by the leader. It was his positive attitude of working along with the members and not pressurizing the member to finish the work compromising with the quality of the job. This actually motivated the members to work with an extra mile and complete the job.

e) Adopting the leader's ability to become an effective leader 

The ability of the leader to maintain calmness and do a job with patience is actually helpful in leading a team more efficiently taking germane decisions.  

f) The importance of having open communication 

Having an open communication between your senior managers or maintaining an open desk policy will actually help in bringing transparency among the team and allowing members to come up with issues and solutions that will increase team cohesion and reduce team conflict.