Strategy

31st October 2013

A Team or a Crowd? by Ian Kinnery

Which do you employ and what is the difference?

Simply adding numbers does not make a team. The difference between a team and a crowd is that a team is more than the sum of its parts whereas a crowd is less than the sum of its parts. S

imply adding people ultimately is self defeating, unless those people can be welded into a cohesive team and when they are, properly, professionally and effectively the results can be stunning.

Adding the right people to the right team will multiply the effectiveness of that team, adding the wrong person will reduce the effectiveness of the team and this is never more important than when we are thinking about the team leader.

That is why selecting the right leader is such a vital decision, whether that be a football manager a rugby captain or a business unit leader.

It is because of this multiplication factor that makes great leaders such a valuable asset. They can multiply the effectiveness of every person under their influence and also multiply the effectiveness of the team. Selecting a less than effective leader will work the opposite way.

A leader, at any level, will be the difference between a crowd and a team. The interesting thing is that the skills of leadership, of which there are many, are rarely those technical skills that we will have been trained in for most of our working lives. Jack Welch said that before he was a manager it was all about what he could do, once he became a manager it was all about how he could help others to perform at a higher level. He was trained as a chemical engineer, but that background had very little relevance in him becoming the recognised greatest business leader of the last century.

It is also an interesting fact that he established a world class executive education facility whilst at GE because he realised that the education of his leadership team was a key driver in the success of what was the worlds biggest business.

There is a clear corollary between business effectiveness and effective business education.