Organizations worldwide have relied for years on team-based personnel structures to better solve complex issues and complete complex projects/tasks and achieve specific outcomes within and across organizations and business units.
Organizations, business leaders and personnel must learn to work effectively in today’s fast paced, highly volatile, complex and globalized business environment. Rapidly changing collaborative technologies, the shift from routine work to non-routine knowledge economies, the need to consider multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches, along with the need for more nimble and adaptive business structures, have changed how we do business, our working environments and the way we work. In response, organizations worldwide have relied for years on team-based work structures to better solve complex issues and complete projects/tasks and achieve specific outcomes within and across organizations and business units.
This white paper uses a comprehensive and considered literature review to explore the concept of team coaching as it relates to supporting organizational teamwork in today’s complex and volatile business environment. The goals of this paper are to provide organizational leaders and business-coaching practitioners with an evidence-based guide to how and why team (business) coaching is important and to show how this model of practice can be used to support organizational team-oriented problem solving, complex-project/task completion and better achievement of organizational goals and outcomes.
Business organizations and business units often fail to realize the full potential of their teams because they apply outdated business management concepts and practices to evolving collective leadership processes and multi-disciplinary or trans-disciplinary issues.
Traditional business practices and problem solving, whether at the individual, work group or team level, is often hampered by personal, disciplinary and/or organizational culture boundaries that inhibit us from looking beyond our confines for new or better solutions. Many of the business issues we face today involve wicked problems that defy traditional solutions and can only be ameliorated or solved by collaborating with people who bring a diverse set of knowledge, skills and perspectives to the issue. Thus, we can no longer always rely on the wisdom of the people within one organization, let alone one discipline, to solve some of our more complex business issues.
Additionally, our traditional views of what teams are, what they need to operate and what supports them are no longer fit for purpose when considered against current business realities. Without knowing what the key drivers or essential and enabling elements for team successes are or how and when to apply them, business leaders will continue to make costly mistakes in terms of time, money, effort and the achievement of organizational goals and outcomes.
Research evidence has shown that successful teamwork within our complex and volatile global organizational environments depends on proper team design and structure, team launch and ongoing team coaching by qualified and competent team coaches—at the right points in time.
Academics and practitioners within fields such as, but not limited to, business, business coaching and organizational development have examined the successes and failures of teams within the business context for many years and have identified (1) team design and structure, (2) team launch and (3) ongoing team coaching as being the key drivers for improved team performance. Providing the foundation for this improved team performance are three essential and three enabling conditions respectively:
- Creating a “real” team
- Having a compelling purpose
- Ensuring that the right people are on the team
- Providing a solid team structure
- Creating a supportive context
- Providing team coaching at the right points in time
Lastly, qualified and competent team coaches have been shown to positively influence the success of team-based personnel systems and processes, and therefore play key roles within each of the business-team design, structure and support elements. Within this business context, the team coach has a dual focus: one that focuses on individual team members and allows them to discover how their personal characteristics, behaviors and perspectives impact the team and business processes; and one that focuses on the larger objectives and successes of the organization. It is this dual focus and discovery process that differentiates business coaching from other types of coaching. Thus, private and public organizations wishing to achieve successful team-based outcomes must consider incorporating qualified and competent team business coaches into all of their team-oriented work structures and processes.
Qualified and competent team coaches positively influence the success of teambased personnel systems and processes, and therefore play keys roles in supporting team-based personnel structures.
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Qualified and competent team coaches positively influence the success of team based personnel systems and processes, and therefore play keys roles in supporting team-based personnel structures.