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Esteem your teams with temerity as they teem with tremendous challenges (four of them)

Large size limits team effectiveness. An article previously discussed (See my post of May 29, 2009: do general counsel matter.) cites research that “performance problems increase exponentially as team size increases.” The ideal team consists of approximately six people.

Coordination and motivation drags down team effectiveness. The Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 86, May 2009 at 100, takes another swing at teams: “Research consistently shows that teams underperform, despite all the extra resources they have. That’s because problems with coordination and motivation typically chip away at the benefits of collaboration.” The pros and cons of teams are complex (See my post of April 5, 2009: teamwork and collaboration internally with 16 references.).

Insufficient familiarity blocks teams. The article observes that it is a myth that teams whose members grow comfortable with each other suffer performance fall off. “The problem almost always is not that a team gets stale but, rather, that it doesn’t have the chance to settle in.” General counsel may fall into this trap if they don’t allow enough time for a team to gel.

Lack of training hobbles teamwork. Teams benefit from coaching as a team (See my post of Feb. 1, 2009: project teams of law departments with 39 references and 4 metaposts.). There are books, consultants and psychometric instruments that can help teams mesh better