Group Accountability?

“At first, this group dynamics stuff looked interesting, you know, everyone together under a team incentive bonus. It sounded exciting in the seminar, but in real life, this is painful,” Naomi explained. “The worst part, is we’re not getting any work done.”

“So, who is accountable?” I asked.

“I think everyone has to take a small part of the responsibility for the team not cooperating,” Naomi replied.

“No, I don’t mean who is responsible for the mess. I mean, who is accountable for the goal?” I insisted.

“The goal? We’re not even talking about the goal. We are just talking about cooperating better together, as a team.”

“Perhaps, that’s the problem,” I suggested. “You are spending so much time trying to cooperate as a group, that you forgot, we are trying to get some work done around here.

“Is it possible,” I continued, “that you have been misdirected to think more about shared fate and group dynamics than you have about your team. A team is not a group. A group may be bound together by shared fate, but a team is bound together by a goal. Stop thinking about group dynamics and start thinking about the goal. That’s why we are here in the first place.”

One thought on “Group Accountability?

  1. Michael Cardus

    As a team building consultant who has worked hard to remind teams of this..that the goal drives the behavior. And that we get all wrapped up in personality and want to play managerial-psychologist, which is a waste of all our collective times.
    Once the goal that the team is put together to achieve is known, then trust and understanding how each person can add their tasks, to achieve the goal can happen.
    We can play team building games and spend $10,000’s on Personality, Leadership, Team and Culture profiles until you go bankrupt. If the team does not understand and know the goal (the what-by-when) they are expected to achieve we will continue to have team dynamic squabbles.


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