Difference between Teams and Committees? LO22913

Malcolm Burson (mburson@mint.net)
Tue, 19 Oct 1999 19:40:41 -0400

Replying to LO22894 --

Replying to LO22888 et seq.: On Tuesday, Doc Holloway wrote,

>Why do you think that a committee consists of a group of people with a
>common goal? I always thought that a committee is a group of people with
>individual goals who generally hope that they can keep the other person
>from realizing his or her goal. That's why compromise is the usual way of
>reconciling differing points of view on committees.
>I also don't believe that it's possible to build teams. I believe that
>teams grow (organically) and require the same kind of nurturing and
>attention to that any other "growing" organism might need.
>Finally, I know that one will never transform a committee into a team.
>The people in a committee might become a team, though.

Doc, I wonder if drawing such a hard-and-fast distinction between Luis'
"committee" and what you refer to as "team" is helpful. I find myself
more concerned with the over-use of the word "team" to describe
practically any working group, regardless of its purpose and process.

Can we do much better than adopting Katzenbach and Smith's definition of
"real" teams as requiring two things above all: Common purpose and
performance goals, and mutual accountability?

Finally, if "one" can't transform a committee into a team, but the people
might become one, what learning is required for this to happen? and who
provides the "growing and nurturing?"

Just by way of keeping the conversation going....

Malcolm Burson
Professional and Organizational Development Specialist
Maine Department of Environmental Protection


"Malcolm Burson" <mburson@mint.net>

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