High-performance teams and comprehensive OD interventions
OD interventions are activities that engage various organizational members in a task pointed towards the improvement of the organizational system or performance. Depending on the situation and organization’s size, OD intervention may engage specific organizational administrative units, top management, or all organization members. Comprehensive OD interventions are critically important because they determine key elements of an organization, such as its basic culture and business strategies.
A high-performance team is a team that consists of goal-oriented individuals that each has enough talent, skills, and experience to work in collaboration and achieve outstanding results. Individuals in high-performance teams have similar priorities, high work ethics, and defined responsibilities. They also tend to deeply relate to the organization’s mission and continuously develop in work progress. Besides, the leadership in high-performance teams is usually described as interchangeable. While creating a high-performing team may sound difficult, all it takes, in the beginning, is a manager that could align members’ priorities and goals with the organizational mission. With the addition of educational development for employees and proper working conditions, any team could have a chance to become a high-performance team.
While high-performance teams are goal-oriented and could be described as connected particles moving in one direction, effective teams are all about interdependence and balance, just like pieces of mechanism. Moreover, effective teams are usually diverse, and the members usually come from different backgrounds; thus, they can balance out each other’s positive and negative qualities. Overall, just like high-performance teams, effective teams are characterized by a high level of trust and mutual respect.
As the researcher already determined, the organization in the first assignment used to have micromanagement issues, and the manager developed a silos style of administration. The researcher followed the decision of training the manager (transferring, reassigning, or replacing the manager) with the idea of delegation of responsibilities. However, in order to create effective teams, the manager needs to make sure that each employee is doing what is more suitable for his skills and talents. Delegation of the manager’s responsibilities, in this case, could lead to conflicts between employees. Instead, to form an effective team, the manager should analyze each employees’ skills and provide tasks that complement their talents and eliminate their flaws.
While creating a well-diverse, effective team from already existing material may be troublesome, the manager could introduce additional members with diverse backgrounds to the team to balance the already existing group. Although diverse groups of employees are a key factor in the effectiveness of the group, the cultural differences in diverse groups should be noted by the manager and respected in the team (Nadiv & Kuna, 2020). In the next step, the manager should establish a couple of specific achievable goals for the team and provide an emotionally safe environment to make suggestions and ideas without fear of judgment. Further, in the work progress, the manager could provide needed equipment or software to streamline communication between the team members. The streamlined communication would lay the foundation for open and respected relationships between employees in which they could learn while also helping each other.
Although perfect high-performance teams employ the idea of interchangeable leadership, defining a leader could help in the early steps of creating an effective team in the case of assignment. However, the leader should act as an element of relations between the manager and the team to establish a positive connection and ensure that valuable information from senior management is provided equally and thoroughly. The leader’s general duties would not be different from other members of the team. The other roles like facilitator and coach could be freely assigned by members of the group themselves later in the working process.
Coming back to the theme of intervention strategies, the most suitable ones for the effective team appear to be Beckhard’s confrontational meeting and Appreciative inquiry. Beckhard’s confrontational meetings are suited for organizations that have recently experienced major changes like the organization from the assignment (French & Bell, 1999). Beckhard’s confrontational meeting strategy is a great way for the top management to evaluate current organizational health and improve conditions quickly by problem-solving. The strategy implies open communication and targets upward communication within the organization and each member’s involvement in group actions. As it was pointed out by Hodges (2020), employees with a higher level of engagement are most likely to perform excellent results in their work. While high-performance and effective teams, in the end, should be capable of solving problems themselves, supervision from the top management would significantly help in the beginning. The strategy could greatly help the members of the team with priority setting and planning of group actions.
Another option for intervention strategy suited for effective teams is Appreciative inquiry (AI). This strategy is focused on a positive aspect of working progress and consists of interviews and discussions in small groups. The questions for discussions center around the positive qualities of the organization rather than its negatives (Schmidt, 2017). However, in this assignment, the appreciative inquiries for the effective team are only suitable after the team develops a way of solving the problems within the group themselves.
High-performance teams and effective teams form a foundation for many successful organizations. Skilled managers should never overlook the chance of creating such teams in their organizations. However, once an efficient team is established, it is necessary to choose the right strategy for interventions to provide the opportunity for further employee development and continuous learning.
French, W. L., & Bell, C. (1999). Organization development: Behavioral science interventions for organization improvement (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hodges, J. (2020). Organization development: How organizations change and develop effectively. London, England: Macmillan International Higher Education.
Nadiv, R., & Kuna, S. (2020). Diversity management as navigation through organizational paradoxes. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 39(4), 355–377. doi:10.1108/edi-12-2018-0236
Schmidt, A. H. (2017). Resistance is overcome in one dialogic OD model (Appreciative Inquiry). International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, 20(1), 1–49. doi:10.1108/ijotb-20-01-2017-b001